Across the United States, opponents of the Trump agenda are gathering into thousands small groups, inspired by the Indivisible Guide strategy memo written by former congressional staffers. These small groups are independently devising and carrying out various confrontations of local members of Congress. They have many substantive demands, but together are making one demand: Trumpism is an unpopular minority position. Represent the rest of us.
Here are just a few examples of how Indivisible-style actions are going down.
In Georgia’s 7th district, confrontation of Rep. Rob Woodall happened at a low volume but with an insistent message of worry about repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the loss of health insurance by millions of people. You’ll notice they didn’t get in the door. A staff member for Rep. Woodall kept them out of the office, so they had to read their statement in the hallway:
In Issaquah, Washington, more than 40 people gathered to bring their concerns about the destruction of the Affordable Care Act to their designated representative in Washington DC, Dave Reichert. But Dave Reichert’s staff locked the door rather than allow them to come in and communicate their message. They had to stand outside in a parking lot, literally shut out of democracy.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio was so opposed to listening to his Ohio constituents that he sent Department of Homeland Security officers outside to physically forbid constituents from visiting his Cleveland office:
Not all of the members of Congress confronted by Indivisible-style local groups have been Republicans. In New York State, local constituents have been confronting Senators Kirstin Gillibrand and Charles Schumer — Senator Gillibrand to urge her to keep up her pattern of voting against Donald Trump’s nominees, and Senator Schumer to insist that he stop acquiescing to Trump’s unacceptable choices:
In Philadelphia, the entire Republican membership of Congress met in private, refusing to let citizens in to the discussion. So Philadelphia raised its voice in protest outside the GOP’s secluded tower:
From the vantage point of citizens communicating to their representatives, this is what democracy looks like. Instead of offering an engaged response, many members of Congress appear to be hiding from their constituents behind walls; that is not what democracy looks like.