The following is a copy of a letter I will send to one of my state’s senators, Mark Pryor:
I was disappointed with your vote on the gun legislation earlier this week. I have no doubt that you are a good man, a “good ole Arkansas boy” like I am, like your wonderful father raised you to be, but I feel strongly that you have surrendered to the god of, “What will get me re-elected?” I know as well as you do what the right thing to do was but you caved in as many good men and women did. If I’d been in your position, it would have not been easy to “do the right thing,” as the pressure must be immense. But the real pressure comes down to that God that most of Congress bows to, “What will get me re-elected?”
But, I will not vote for you again. And a lot of friends of mine will not vote for you again. I don’t know who we will vote for but it will not be for you. I will even vote for a Republican if he/she demonstrates conviction and ability to thwart that demon of “re-electability.” We need people who believe in something and “re-electability” is absolutely nothing.
The best example I have seen of this courage was demonstrated by a Republican governor last fall. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey jeopardized his entire political future to accept the assistance of President Obama in the aftermath Hurricane Sandy, right on the brink of the Presidential election. He has not been “crucified” yet…at least not fatally. But many in his party vehemently oppose him as he did not bow to political pressure on that issue and was seen on video and in photo’s “palling around” with the man Republican extremists hate with a passion. I will never forget the demonstration of courage that Governor Christie offered.
I hope that you serve out your term with more integrity than you demonstrated on this issue. And, given your parentage, I know that you have it in you. I know the pressure is immense but we pay you to handle that pressure. And you know what the right thing to do is. Let me re-emphasize that I’m sure you are a good man. You would have to be given who your father is. But good men and women do not always do “good” things. But you and your colleagues are in a position where “the good” needs to have priority in your motivations, not something as lame and immature as re-electability.