Letter to the Editor | We need a lawmaker who is approachable

Letter to the Editor | We need a lawmaker who is approachable

At the Aug. 29 Phoenix memorial for John McCain, his friend Joe Biden said, "We are the naive Americans. That's who John was ... he loved basic values, fairness, honesty."

This resonated after my recent experience with Congressman Rodney Davis on the steps of the Tolono Police Department.

I was concerned about Paul Ryan's statements about the federal budget and tax cut. Ryan stated (including on Fox News) that the resultant deficit would be corrected by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Davis' response was classic political pivoting: "That just isn't true. You must read the Huffington Post."

That evening I was still stinging. I have taught workshops on news literacy around the world. I got my naive values of fact checking from our beloved high school debate coach and our (ultraconservative) civics teacher.

Indeed, I emailed Davis the widely quoted Ryan statement, as reported in the Feb. 8 conservative Washington Times. Some congresspeople disagreed with Ryan. But he said it. I was shocked that Davis had to pivot to avoid my query and still hasn't answered my letter.

This conversation took place on concrete steps, in the hot sun. Why didn't Davis hold town halls, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan-style, on health care, taxes and a host of other issues? I guess I'm still naive, along with a lot of other Americans. We learned in high school civics to read the news and form opinions. To have our congressman unable to engage us is simply unacceptable.