This Valentine’s Day, our congress people could show members of the public some love by listening to their constituents. Regard: Senator Michael Bennett, our Colorado senator, who consistently shows up for his people, makes himself available – or assigns the job to constituent advocates who answer the phone and have human conversations with concerned citizens – who schedules meetings and telephone conferences with members of his electorate – who frequently advocates for the underdog, voting no against AG Jeff Sessions because he was, as Betsy DeVoss was, drastically unqualified for the job – and who writes thoughtful, well-informed, morally-guided pieces on speaking up in this time of crumbling democracy for journalists and the judicial system alike.
Senator Bennett is showing the love to his constituents. As all congress people should be.
At the risk of detracting anything away from Senator Bennett’s exceptionally glowing and heartfelt dedication to what is right for our country in this era inimical to our democracy, I think of all that Senator Cory Gardner could be doing for his constituents if he followed the will of his constituents ala Senator Bennett. If he appointed staff members to answer the telephone, if he regarded the hundreds of protestors outside his office on a consistent basis not as “paid protestors,” following the populist-dictator mentality of President Tweety, but instead, appreciated these people are taking time out of their precious lives to show up because they care deeply. If he heeded the hundreds of Facebook postings asking that he vote no against unqualified cabinet nominees, or held his ground in supporting the separation of powers so intrinsic to and critical in our democracy.
Indeed, if Senator Gardner could show some love to his constituents this Valentine’s Day, rein in his swollen ego and break from the mob mentality of the Radical Republicans, he might earn the votes of his electorate in 2020.
As it stands, he is dramatically eliminating support from his constituents one by one in this crucial time.
Who among us EVER had our senators on speed dial, much less KNOW who they were?
Indeed, we are an increasingly motivated, informed and active electorate – we are paying close attention and we are standing up for what we believe in — because we care, because we are affected – not because we are disappointed and anguish over a few percentage points in a tax cut or a couple of billion dollars on infrastructure spending – but because our democracy is worth defending and we see it threatened on an alarming daily basis.
Feeling unheard is one of the most invalidating and dehumanizing experiences. Wars and revolutions have been started over voices unheard. Violence erupts when people feel ignored.
I watched my father – a F rench immigrant — who felt unheard his entire life. He never gained standing nor respect in his life from his family or the community. He shrank diminished and broken into alcoholism and depression and ultimately, die an unfulfilled and unsatisfied life. I learned from that, never allow anyone to silence your voice. I also learned – find people in your life who will show you love and respect.
Can we expect to feel heard by our politicians? Most would say no — dismissing me as naive and ridiculous — but isn’t that what we elect them for, to represent our interests?
We have a human need to feel heard. It is the simplest way to show someone you care about and respect them. Weren’t we all screaming in our living rooms when we read about Elizabeth Warren being silenced for her recent dissent? I know I was.
— infused and instilled them with confidence to do jobs we weren’t wholly qualified for or dedicated to – in exchange for which, we deserve their gratitude and respect.
Not just at election time, but NOW, when we need them the most.
Show us the love, Senator Cory Gardner, as Senator Michael Bennett does – and we will in turn show you the love when you need us the most, the next election day…