Bost discusses town hall meetings, social media - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Bost discusses town hall meetings, social media

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WSIL -- Liberal groups held a round of town hall meetings in Illinois this weekend, inviting GOP congressmen to talk with them but all of them declined.

So why does U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro avoid them?

He said he prefers meeting with people in smaller groups because its safer than a massive crowd.

"Look, I'm here to serve the people. I want to. And I want to apply my experience to make things better for my grandkids," Bost said. "But if I get somebody in the crowd that's out of control, that hurts someone else in the crowd, or hurts me, or worse, we have gained nothing."

Those feelings have only grown since U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Florida was shot in June by a man from Bost's own district.

Bost said he'll continue to talk with people in his district to get their views, even if its not in the town hall setting.

"We are making sure that we are in touch with the people. Open communication with the people through tele-town halls, through meetings with individuals in our office," Bost said. "If someone calls my office, we'll sit down, a lot of the protesters, I've met with two and three and four of them at the same time at the Belleville office and my office down here." 

Our discussion turned to social media and the heated rhetoric used on Facebook and Twitter.

"I think on social media, people become not just where they disagree, but they feed off of each other until they stir the crowd," Bost said.

Bost also believes President Donald Trump could ease up a bit on the tweets.

"I agree with a lot of his policies, a majority of his policies," Bost said. "But do I agree with the tweeting out in the middle of the night? Not always. Not always."

Bost also referenced an editorial by the Belleville News Democrat that illustrated the reasons why speaking in front of hostile crowds could be dangerous. You can read that article here.

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