BY SHARON MARTIN
At U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas’ recent Town Hall meeting in Sapulpa, he said, “You come to realize, after you’ve been through this a while, that folks tend to focus on their day-to-day lives. They come [to Town Hall meetings] when they’re mad or they’re scared.”
The handful of people who showed up in Sapulpa were mostly concerned about losing their healthcare. I’m thinking a whole lot more of us should be worried enough to show up.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin also held a series of meetings. I guess we can be thankful, in our red state, that Republican legislators aren’t afraid to face constituents. However, Mullin made people leave their signs outside the door, and took offense when a woman held up a piece of paper to replace her sign.
In Pryor, a citizen asked him, “What are we going to do to get back to the middle and start taking care of the whole population, not just one side or the other?”
Mullin says, “When constituents act the same way.”
That was the sound of a non-answer, but he was clear in his opinions on the EPA: “I would have never run for office if it wasn’t for the fact that my biggest threat to my company was the federal government and the overreach of the EPA.”
Dang those clean water requirements!
He wants people to quit demonizing each other, too. He says the American people are tired of it and that’s why we have Donald Trump.
“The biggest demonizer of them all!” said someone in the audience, to applause.
Even if I don’t agree with much of the platform Mullin and Lucas support, I’m grateful they had the guts to show up. One of our senators doesn’t really bother, and the other has replaced Town Halls with teleconferences.
Politicians work for us. Maybe we can remind them if we accept their invitations in numbers and respectfully make our positions known.
We start with common ground. Sure, we all want U.S. corporations to succeed, but our representatives need to know that we want all working people to succeed. Everyone deserves access to healthcare and a living wage.
We believe business people should be heard, but we need to let our representatives know that we want people with no money and no power to be heard, too.
That’s the promise of this country, and that promise has been broken. It’s up to us, the people, one voice, one sign, one Town Hall meeting at a time. Activism may be all that stands between us and tyranny.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer