Hey, Congressman Flores – We’re In*DI*visible, not In*VI*sible!

We kicked off our Indivisible group at a gathering of other concerned citizens in Austin on Saturday, January 7, to stand up to the authoritarianism and hypocrisy of Trump and so many in his party and to build a more inclusive, respectful alternative. That afternoon, we created our Twitter account, @IndivisibleTX17, and started retweeting and following folks in the Indivisible movement, including our key @IndivisibleATX account that helps coordinate our actions across Austin.

Indivisible TX-17 logoYou see, we in Austin are the victims of extreme gerrymandering. In fact, Austin has been called “the only major Texas city and the largest city in America without a congressional district anchored in it.” As the 11th largest city in America, with the residents of all 10 larger cities comprising at least the majority of their districts, Austin instead is divided into 6 (SIX) congressional districts!

Why?

Austin is rather liberal compared to the rather conservative state that surrounds us. What better way to ensure us weirdos (Keep Austin Weird!) are not fully represented? So, our congressional district, TX-17, runs from a tiny sliver of north Austin all the way east to Bryan-College Station, northwest to Waco then northeast into a large swath of rural (i.e. very conservative) central Texas. Hence, our – not surprisingly Republican – Congressman is Rep. Bill Flores. His principal local office appears to be in Waco.

Bill doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He’s just been in a safe district for a while, so he’s unaccustomed to seeing any resistance. But he’s our representative, so we followed him on Twitter. Then we engaged with or retweeted a few folks who had challenged him on Twitter. We NEVER, at any time, engaged with @RepBillFlores directly nor said anything disparaging about him.

The Disappearing Act

It was a surprise when, earlier today, less than 2 days after creating our Twitter account, we went to see our Rep’s latest tweets only to find this:

Screen shot of Rep. Bill Flores' Twitter account showing he'd blocked our account

REALLY? We’re a group organizing in his own district. We are all constituents! Guess it doesn’t really matter, though…

He may not want to see our tweets, but we’re not going away. It’s not like we can’t see his tweets other ways. It’s not like we can’t keep engaging with other constituents who disagree with him. But it certainly seems to confirm that Bill, like many other Republicans and supporters of Trump, doesn’t appear to care what anyone thinks if it doesn’t confirm his ideology. Apparently, democracy, with its healthy debate of ideas, is not part of Making America Great Again.

Funny. We thought democracy IS what had made America so great!

What do you think? Has your Congressional Rep blocked your Twitter account without justification?