Civilization requires civility. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — if we want to get our economy back on track and move our nation forward, we absolutely must put partisanship aside and put our country first.
Soon, my weekly messages to you will be replaced by messages from your new Congressman. It is the beauty of our democracy that we see a peaceful transition of power with each election. I will do all I can to work with Congressman-elect Hudson to make sure that we have a smooth transition. Most importantly, my office will work to make sure that folks who we are in the process of helping have the opportunity to transfer their casework to the new office. If you have an ongoing case with my office, you will receive a letter this week asking you to allow our office to transfer your information to the new office. Please take time to do so. I want to make sure we can get you the help you need.
I believe the American people want results from their government, and they are tired of uncivil behavior derailing real progress. We’ve seen our political landscape become increasingly divisive, and the rhetoric has become more and more inflamed and polarizing. During my travels, I hear from a lot of people who are tired of the Washington bickering and sniping. They want to know what they can do to let our elected leaders know that the constant discord must end. It’s beyond time to join together to take on the many challenges our nation faces. The most frustrating part of my job is the partisan bickering and division, which leaves little room for work to be completed when so many people are spending time working first to make their colleagues look bad or gain political points.
There are many members of Congress who choose not to engage in the ugly rhetoric and disrespectful tone, but it seems that the work they do rarely makes the headlines. There are folks on both sides of the aisle who are capable of being civil, and I, along with many others, are committed to acting with civility to solve our nation’s challenges. Our nation held elections this past week, and I can’t think of a better time for us to remember that our democracy is based on the fundamental ideal that it is your right to question your government and petition it for change. The greatest achievement in a democratic civilization is the ability to do that peacefully, and we absolutely must do it with respect and civility. Only then can we solve our nation’s problems.
As I continue to work for you through the end of the year, we will face many serious issues, including the fiscal cliff that will require both parties to compromise and work together to find a solution. When I think about all of those who have sacrificed and shed blood for our freedom, I know that we can do better. The blood that has been shed and the lives that have been lost on foreign soil, in the name of preservation of our government and our freedom, must never be forgotten. We understand that freedom is not free, yet too often some folks do a great disservice to those who paid the cost, by trivializing the very freedoms preserved for us in the names of those who have fallen. We can all do better.
We must not be afraid of vigorous debate on the issues upon which we disagree, while never forsaking the utmost respect and reverence for others and their views. We have serious issues before us that we’ll never solve if we can’t sit down and discuss them. The importance of listening during these discussions is a lesson we must all understand and practice. If everyone is talking, often times nobody is listening. Until we better practice that give-and-take of democracy that built our nation and keeps us free, we will only slowly make progress on the issues we face. I will continue to do my best to uphold the principles of civic discourse while working for you in Washington.