Monday, June 25, 2012

Pssst... NY27 Republicans, We Need To Talk

Grab a chair, make yourself at home.

Listen, we really need to talk.

Wait, where are my manners? Would you like something to drink? Beer? Single malt? Fine, have it your way, let's get down to business.

You know primary day is tomorrow. You also know that I'm not into your agenda, but for just one day I want us to be on the same team.

What I want, what I've always wanted from government, is honest representation and I'm still young and stupid enough to believe that that there isn't an inherent contradiction there. I don't define 'honest representation' as having a President/Senator/Congressman/Dog Catcher that agrees with everything I think. I don't need my representatives to spend all day doing the bidding of my personal ideology and I hope we're all adult enough here to agree on that least in theory.

What I do need from my representatives is a standard of professionalism, intellectual honesty and an understanding that their only duty is to their constituents and their country. There are no noble bloodlines in America. The people we elect to serve us are raised up from our neighborhoods and cities. We send them off to the seat of power with our trust and hopefully our good will because that is how a representative republic like ours functions and thrives.

There is no noble class in America, no single person is born to serve in government, our representatives choose to do so and we, in turn, choose them.

Tomorrow, your party will be making a choice. It's not a simple one, at least not on the face of it. I've spent a fair amount of time trying to distance myself from this thing because I didn't really see it as any of my business. It doesn't matter to me ideologically who wins tomorrow. When asked about it, I've generally said that the difference between Chris Collins and David Bellavia as potential Congressmen will be maybe a few votes no one will ever hear about deciding issues that no one cares about. In essence, you're choosing one suit and pair of dress shoes over another if all that's important to you is a party line vote.

I already told you, though, that those things are secondary.

Republicans, you have an opportunity here.  You are being presented with a choice between two men who will do the same job. You don't have to make difficult issue decisions, so you are now afforded the opportunity to make a simple personal one. You get to choose the better man.

Whatever you may think about your current representation, you have to know in your heart and your mind that Kathy Hochul has conducted herself with class and dignity during her first term in Congress and you also know that she'll continue to do so if she is re-elected in November. Obviously, you folks will be trying to unseat her but only one of the two men you are choosing between tomorrow has a track record that proves he will match Congresswoman Hochul's comportment.

David Bellavia is a person who understands honor and integrity. He knows what those things mean and more importantly, he knows that conducting himself in a manner that both extends and accepts respect is the most basic function of a person who is selected to represent so many of his fellow citizens.

Chris Collins is none of that. There is no noble class in America, but Collins lives his public life like an entitled Prince sneering at the peasantry. His behavior has been well documented. He has demeaned female members of his staff in public. He has conducted private business in his government offices. He even parks in handicapped parking spaces to save his dainty feet from having to make a few extra steps. He puts on a costume, specially purchased, in order to relate to the plebeian farmers in our rural towns and he barely deigns to acknowledge that primary voters have a choice other than he.

There is no noble class in America. Money buys a lot of elections, but it doesn't have to buy this one. You don't have to worship the businessman if the businessman represents the worst of human nature. A prince may be a member of the nobility, but that doesn't make him noble.

Go. Vote tomorrow. Vote for a man who served his country honorably. Vote for a man who shares your ideals and will not stray. Vote for a man who will serve with dignity. Vote for David Bellavia.

If you do that, we can spend the next five months discussing the issues that are important to us. We can fight about whether Bellavia or Hochul is better for our district and we'll know that whoever wins, we'll have an honest and dignified representative in Congress. Government will roll along forever; nothing is going to change that. Let's take this opportunity to enter a general election season where we know that we'll be able to be proud of our congressperson, whether we agree with them or not.

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