Every two years our mailboxes are filled with campaign literature from Congressman Vern Buchanan in which he woos us with tales of “listening to” his constituents because he is supposedly “working for” us in Washington, D.C. His campaign literature makes it seem as if the congressman turns into Charles Atlas every Tuesday morning when he steps off the plane at Washington National Airport and returns to his office on Capitol Hill.
This past Saturday, Jan. 21, more than 10,000 of his constituents marched in solidarity over the Ringling Bridge to protest the politically-motivated cuts to women’s health programs, the Affordable Care Act, human rights, and many similar issues that are destined for dismantling by the Trump administration and by Congress.
Despite all of those campaign promises by Vern Buchanan to “listen to” his constituents, I did not see him anywhere near, let alone on, the Ringling Bridge with us. He certainly wasn’t working for 10,000 fellow constituents last Saturday.
If our congressman was actually “listening to” his constituents, he would have been “working for” us by leading the march over the Ringling Bridge and showing personal solidarity with issues that are important to everyone. Instead, and once again, our supposedly hard-working congressman was nowhere to be seen.
His campaign rhetoric, like the congressman himself, is hollow, yet every two years this congressional district re-elects him. I’ve had enough of not being listened to on issues that are of monumental importance to more than his campaign contributors. When will the rest of his constituents have a similar epiphany?