Members should speak for people
Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn of California represents a half a million people from her district. She said, “I am their voice; they sent me to Congress so their voice could be heard. Isn’t that what democracy is about.” Because the people she represents are opposed to military action in Syria, she is voting no.
Congress is the voice of the people. If they don’t speak for us, we will not be heard. I have heard too many senators and representatives say if the American people knew what Congress knew they might change their mind. They are attempting to patronize us. They did it in Iraq, and they were wrong.
I have spoken with the offices of all Vermont’s representatives to Congress. Senator Sanders is clearly skeptical of any military action and is likely to vote no. Senator Leahy did not like the wording of the Senate resolution and wanted it changed. Representative Welch seemed to be hedging. It seems because he is relative newcomer to Congress he is trying to determine what affect a no vote would have on his political career.
I would like to be clear with these three men: Listen to Representative Hahn of California. You gentlemen are our voice in Congress. The vast majority of Vermont citizens are adamantly opposed to any military action. They are tired of war. They do not want to be dragged into another war in the Middle East, and there is absolutely no way in which you can guarantee we won’t be, absolutely none.
Your way is clear, gentlemen. You can vote with a clear conscience. You were sent to Washington to give Vermonters a voice; if you do not do this, you strip us of that voice, you strip us of our ability to take part in the democratic process. If you do this you do so at your own peril. If you are unwilling to speak for us then it will necessitate that we find people who will.