I hope everyone has had the opportunity to read Senator John McCain’s recent book, “Restless Wave,” or watch the HBO documentary on his life, “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls,” which aired this past Monday (it’s “on demand”).
I didn’t vote for Senator McCain when he ran for president, but I respect him as a Navy fighter pilot, courageous prisoner of war, a long-serving legislator, maverick, patriot and American hero. He is the epitome of “Duty, Honor, Country.”
It is outrageous that Cadet Bone Spurs treats McCain with such contempt for being captured. The Congress sent Trump a massive VA reform bill on May 23rd but somehow, Memorial Day passed without him getting around to signing it.
Where have all the other Republicans of courage gone? Republican legislators are running away from the Constitution they used to honor. Free speech? Not for football players. Freedom of religion? Not for Muslims. Rule of law? Not for immigrants or the Central Park Five. Not for the victims of former sheriff and convicted felon Joe Arpaio, whom Trump pardoned. Now, we have ICE channeling the Gestapo.
The Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution to create a federal government with three main functions: First, it established a national government consisting of a legislative, an executive, and a judicial branch, with a system of checks and balances among the three. Second, it divided power between the federal government and the states. And third, it protected individual liberties of American citizens. These elements put a premium on cooperation, compromise and mutual benefit. Trump and his Republican allies, especially the laughably-named “Freedom Caucus” that Senator McCain calls “the say-no-everything crowd,” have shredded these functions and protections. Never has the Congress so thoughtlessly abandoned its high ground against a reckless executive.
We need senators and congressional representatives that are not complicit with the dismantlement of the Constitution.
As citizens, our duty is to use the voting booth to elect people who will speak for us, not Wall Street, K Street lobbyists, or the Koch Brothers.
The Virginia primary election takes place on June 12th. Republicans who decide to vote in their own primary must choose among Nick Freitas, Corey Stewart and E. W. Jackson – all Trumpians – to run against Senator Tim Kaine. The rest of us, in Culpeper and across the 7th Congressional District, will choose between Abigail Spanberger and Dan Ward to run against incumbent Dave Brat, who has distinguished himself by avoiding his constituents, grandstanding on conservative talk shows and for closed, hand-picked audiences, while reminding everyone that he thinks he’s an economist and went to seminary. The only bill he has introduced during his entire time in the Congress that actually became law was to rename an arboretum.
Spanberger and Ward, on the other hand, have outstanding records as patriots, public servants, and strong credentials in national security. They are grass roots candidates not beholden to the party establishment. They want to represent the interests of all their constituents, work across the aisle to solve problems, and restore checks and balances among the three branches of government – unlike Dave Brat.
I will mourn for John McCain. He may be the last of the truly great United States senators. As for his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate, they are standing neck-deep in Trump’s swamp. They must all go – and, you can start that process by educating yourself, picking your champion, and voting on June 12th. This may “only” be a primary, but it is a watershed moment for Culpeper and for Virginia.
Be a part of history.
Editors Note: This letter is appeared in the Sunday June 3rd edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent, and has been re-posted here, with the author's permission.