U.S. Congressman MacArthur Asks for Facebook to Stop Attacking Him on Page

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WASHINGTON, DC-New Jerseyans, many who are transplants from New York City these days are known for their rough exteriors and brash personalities, but one U.S. Congressman is trying to change that.

U.S. Congressman Tom MacArthur, the Republican representing New Jersey’s third congressional district, upset, replied to a letter accusing him of “quashing” free speech, asking for adults to stop attacking him and each other on his Facebook Page.

The Congressman was accused by Toms River resident Jim Roe of using his congressional Facebook Page for nothing more than  “a steady stream of photo ops” and deleting comments of dissent.  MacArthur refuted that point and said his staff only deletes posts that are either vulgar or involve cyberbullying.

The letter, published in the liberal leaning Asbury Park Press triggered MacArthur to respond.

“I’m writing in response to the March 1 letter MacArthur stifling voices on his Facebook page. During a recent meeting with students about school safety, the issue of cyber bullying was brought up numerous times. It’s a serious topic that isn’t just impacting school children — it’s occurring between adults — mothers, fathers, grandparents — on social media, including the Facebook page for my congressional office,” he wrote to the paper.

MacArthur’s page has been slammed this year by organized Democrats and upset Republicans alike.  Even an Easter well-wishing post by the Congressman this past weekend went south quickly.|

“Debbie and I wish you a happy and blessed Easter as you spend this day with your family and loved ones,” MacArthur’s team posted.

Then the liberal onslaught against him began.

“The DACA kids are not having a good Easter…. Not fair to kids who had no choice about their life. Please, help them,” said Bordentown Resident Laura Light.

Medford, New Jersey resident Janet Walsh responded, “Anything you can do to hold off the Trump/EPA gutting of our clean air and water regs? It would be a nice Easter gift for our children!”

“We need our tax dollars to support public education not israel,” said Albert Westpy from Upper Montclair.

While most of the posts were well-wishing responses, Bobby Lockwood summed up the off-topic posts by liberal agitators.

Lots of Snowfalkes today,” he responded.

While most of the congressman’s 8,800 or so Facebook followers are supportive of his holiday well-wishes, comments on the March Madness NCAAA tournament and public service announcements, his page has been under attack by a grassroots effort by Democrats across the state.

Often, these online protests get vicious and vulgar.  After all, it is Facebook we’re talking about and such actions are expected, but MacArthur wants his page to be a safe space.

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“My Facebook page was intended to be a place for constituents to interact with each other in a substantive and productive way,” he said. “Instead, the comments sections of most posts are filled with hatred, name-calling, vulgar language and even threats.  I have repeatedly heard from constituents about the inappropriate comments people are making.  What kind of example does this set for the next generation?”

Good question…but he forgets that he’s talking to a constituency that sometimes wears costumes fashioned as vaginas and carry rude and vulgar signs with children in tow, so why would he expect them to act any differently on the internet?

MacArthur said he won’t let the cyberbullies get him down.

“I will continue to carry myself with respect for all of you and I will continue to post regular updates so constituents can see what I’m doing,” he said. “I will listen to dissenting views and work with those I may not agree with to find solutions to the problems facing our nation. “

MacArthur apparently doesn’t understand that if you post something on Facebook, it is bound to degrade into a back and forth session of name calling, cyberbullying and personal attacks…it’s just how the whole thing seems to work these days, especially when the topic is of a political nature.
Still, he asks for civility in a rather uncivilized communications medium.
“I am asking those of you who are using my Facebook page for name-calling and cyber-bullying to stop,” he said. “Personal attacks against each other because of a disagreement on a political issue is a poor way to change hearts and minds.  We are all neighbors and shouldn’t be treating each other this way.”
His plea for civility, as expected, fell upon deaf ears.
Steve Stern, a volunteer for MacArthur’s Democrat opponent said, “It’s pretty disingenuous of you to complain about bullying when your staff sets off multiple car alarms to disrupt speeches by clergypeople outside of your office.”
“You republicans are nothing but big babies who like to call others names, and insult others but when someone calls you a name you run to facebook and try to shut them up,” said Edward Decker.
“Maybe answer the questions and criticisms of you on your Facebook page to which you’ve never responded. If your constituents there are rude it’s because they feel constantly cut off from having a real conversation with you,” responded David Karesek.
While not bullying it was more of the same.  Anything posted by the Congressman’s staff to the constituents of New Jersey is usually responded to with harsh criticisms by the local left.