Letter: Congressmen shouldn’t have to be coaxed into condemning neo-Nazis

From: Hannah Hedges


In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, most Republican leaders issued statements condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis. U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., posted pictures of himself side-by-side with Vice President Mike Pence. His priorities that weekend: making sure his constituents saw his photo-op of the unveiling of a portrait.

It wasn’t until Monday morning after his office was flooded with disappointed and angry phone calls that he finally issued a statement on Twitter. His statement was vague and did not specifically call out the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis, who marched with torches and Hitler salutes, chanting “Blood and Soil.” As I write this on Aug. 16, he has yet to make a statement on Facebook.

A U.S. congressman should not have to be coaxed, cajoled or cornered into making a statement condemning neo-Nazis. This should have been a no-brainer response. So why was it not his immediate response? Messer has once again failed the Hoosiers of the 6th District by his shameful silence. But he is not content as a congressman; he wants to be our U.S. senator in 2018.

Is this a man who deserves to be our senator? A man whose first instinct in response to an act of domestic terrorism is not to condemn the terrorists, or even comfort his constituents, but to post what amounts to a selfie?