Rep. Matt Gaetz recently wrote, “Indivisible NWFL is a liberal organization dedicated to frustrating the Trump agenda.” Rep. Gaetz is very dedicated to getting the facts right, but he got one point wrong in that statement.
Indivisible NWFL is not a liberal organization, per se. Disenchanted Republicans account for more than 25 percent of the organization’s membership. Republican Indivisible NWFL members are just as dissatisfied with the so-called “bold, conservative reform” touted by Rep. Gaetz as they are with the president and his administration’s policies.
Those members are aghast at the proposal to abolish the EPA.
Those members were shocked at Rep. Gaetz’s bill to defund the United Nations.
Those members are taken aback by the similar Gaetz-proposed bill to abolish the Department of Education.
Those members are also deeply disappointed that Rep. Gaetz has voted nine times to continue concealing the president’s taxes — after telling constituents packed into the bar at Oops Bowling Alley for his first town hall that he thought the president ought to release his taxes.
Those members are astounded that Rep. Gaetz made no public statement on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub attack, where 49 people tragically lost their lives in the largest mass shooting in the country’s history. Nor did Rep. Gaetz say anything publicly during the search for Naomi Jones or the search for her murderer.
And the thought that the Senate is secretly working on a healthcare bill behind closed doors to prevent public scrutiny has alienated our Republican members even more.
Granted, Indivisible NWFL is opposed to the Trump agenda. We believe that rolling back regulations will harm our communities, our health, and our children. We believe that adequate health care is a right not a privilege, and that hospitals should not have to absorb billions of dollars in uninsured care. We believe that the role the United States plays in the world demands a steady hand, not an impulsive Twitter finger. We believe that repealing Dodd-Frank will create an environment suitable for another financial collapse and will take consumer protections away in order to prioritize the desires of big banks. We believe that civil rights need to move forward, not return to a bygone era. And we believe, as Rep. Gaetz does, that facts matter and our representatives should not lie to our faces.
If the tactics that nearly 6,000 Indivisible groups are employing seem familiar, you’re not imagining things. The Tea Party movement developed them and used them to oppose Democratic legislators in the early days of the Obama presidency. Turnabout is fair play.
Lastly, I feel the need to set the records straight regarding Rep. Gaetz’s claim that he has held 52 town halls. In writing this, I reviewed the flyers and social media posts announcing the various Open Gaetz Days. Each one has a single event labeled as a town hall. It’s extremely misleading to claim that events like an “Environmental Listening Tour’ and ‘Legislative Update” are town halls when they are not advertised as such.
Vickie Neapolitan-Scott is founder of Indivisible NWFL.Pensacola News Journal June 23, 2017