Dodging constituents

I was only able to catch about 15 minutes of Congressman Bill Flores’ phony Nov. 28 telephone town-hall meeting, but it was enough to help me understand why he refuses to face his constituents.

  • When he blamed Social Security for making it hard to balance the budget and claimed the system would be broke in 15 years, we couldn’t point out that Social Security is self-funded, and thus separate from the rest of the budget, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
  • When he professed shock at revelations about sexual assault and harassment because he thought people treated each other better than that these days, we couldn’t ask: “Did you miss the entire Baylor scandal last year?”
  • When he said he had no opinion about for-profit prisons, because that’s a local and state matter, we couldn’t tell him the federal government spent $639 million on contracts with private prisons in 2014. We couldn’t ask why the Trump administration reversed the Obama administration’s decision to stop using for-profit prisons, having found such prisons are more costly and rampant with abuse.
  • And when he promised opening up federal lands for drilling would help offset the $1.4 trillion deficit caused by the Republican tax plan, we couldn’t hold up a sign with a recent headline from the leading oil and gas industry website: “More Federal Land Drilling: Possible, But Not Profitable.”

The phony town-hall format means Flores can spew as many false statements as he wants and his constituents have no voice to push back. This is not democracy.

Elesha Coffman, Waco

Stuck in his bubble

After reading Frank M. Slaby’s response to Jim Ernst’s Nov. 19 letter I am confident the only one living in a fantasy is Mr. Slaby. Donald Trump did lose the popular vote. He lost it by 2.8 million votes. There is no evidence a significant number of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election to give Hillary Clinton the popular vote. Simply claiming something does not make it true.

A discrepancy in voter information in Detroit was indeed discovered, but this discrepancy was not more people voting than were registered in the county. Instead it was a difference in the amount of voters counted by poll workers and the amount of voters counted by the machines. That is hardly voter fraud. If anyone wants to know what really happened in Detroit and not just gullibly believe the claims made by Trump supporters, I recommend they read the Dec. 13 article by The Detroit News and the Dec. 15 article by The Detroit Free Press. Both go far more in depth about the discrepancy than I can in this letter.

My message to Trump supporters like Mr. Slaby: Get out of your bubble. Be skeptical. Just because someone says something you want to be true does not actually make it true. Maybe if you all did so, this country would be less divided.

Noble Thomas, Waco