Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Communicating with a Pol

I wrote the following letter to Ed Martin, Republican candidate for Missouri's 3rd Congressional District:

Dear Ed,
This is to inform you that I intend to vote for you on November 2nd.
However, I want to make one thing absolutely clear: this is not an endorsement. I cannot know what you are really going to do when you get to Washington. The words you have written indicate at least a cursory knowledge of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and the libertarian philosophy of liberty. Whether or not you truly understand those words...that is to be seen. You may have won my vote, but you have to earn my trust.
At this time I have no reason to trust you.
Most Republican candidates are going to benefit from the rising wave of anti-Obama revulsion. The Republicans will win many seats and they will pat themselves on the back and say "see, they love us." Nothing could be further from the truth. Republicans forget that they were thrown out just two years ago amid similar disgust with Bush and his run-amok cronies and Congressional lapdogs. Voters are looking for something else, a different way of governing. They didn't get it with the Bush Republicans, they tried the Democrats and were deeply disappointed; now they're trying to find what they are looking for with the Republicans again. I fear we will be shafted again.
I have no illusions about the daunting task of reversing the course of government. It is likely that the new 'tea party' congressmen will constitute such a small part of the overall Congress that they will have little direct influence on day-to-day legislation. They will be considered to be irrelevant by the mainstream. The pressure will be to go along to get along in hopes of having influence somewhere in the future. This is a pipe dream. This is the reason the Republicans were thrown out two years ago, and the reason the Democrats will be thrown out this year.
What I am voting for is a Congressman who will stand up, even if all alone, and say: this is contrary to the Constitution. Even if you never vote with the majority, even if you forever are marginalized by the people who have caused the mess in this country, you will be representing me and people like me every time you take those hard, principled, difficult-to-explain-in-soundbite stands. All alone.
If you do that, you will be representing people like me. And you will win the kind of devoted following enjoyed by statesmen, but never by politicians.
I wish you luck in the upcoming election.

Ron Johnson

Later that same day, I received the following reply:

Thanks for this note. I agree with you: vote for me, hold me accountable, and, if I falter, vote me out!
Thanks for your vote.
All the best.
Ed Martin

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