It angers and saddens me to see what we as a nation have come to:
Divisiveness, anger and violence not only tolerated but encouraged by politicians and media alike; the demonization of the “other”: the poor, people of color, LGBTQ and immigrants; deliberate attempts to politically disenfranchise whole communities; an unwillingness to know, acknowledge and study our nation’s full historical legacy; attempts to shackle our schools, teachers and curriculum; increased disdain for and distrust of science, intellectual curiosity and critical thinking processes; accompanied by increasingly narrow opportunities for the economic, medical, material and environmental well-being of everyones’ children.
Anger and sadness are what I felt as I watched the video recently posted by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, one in which she denigrates the pending work of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, an event that threatened the peaceful transfer of power, part of the bedrock of our Constitution.
Anger because she offered only hollow tropes and name-calling, words meant to inflame rather than calm, words of denial couched in falsehoods and obfuscations.
Sadness because having once met Ms. Stefanik early in her career, I was impressed by her candor, curiosity and commitment.
Today, it’s hard not see her as just another Republican Party hack, shouting divisive and destructive rhetoric in order to further her political career regardless of the effect it may have on the future of our country and all its citizens.
Rep. Stefanik claims to represent all of the people of the north country, but she does not.
Political expediency, climbing up the “ladder” and cynical media manipulation seem to be her M.O. these days.
She has engaged in white-washing the events of Jan. 6, attempting to decertify the Electoral College results and promoting the Big Lie, criticizing the Biden recovery plan while boasting of securing funds from it for the north country, supporting the continued exhibition of Confederate statuary in the Capitol Building, spouting claptrap about Black Lives Matter and critical race theory.
None of these actions exemplify the sort of representative I can take pride in.
At one time, despite our differing political parties and beliefs, I could still take some pride in a politician who earnestly spoke of working toward bipartisanship.
It saddens me that I can do so no longer.