If you took the time to read my last post, you’ll probably think I’m fairly down, perhaps pensive this morning. I am not. Quite the contrary. I have reason to be optimistic.
It’s not often that you have the opportunity to attend a victory party for a newly elected Congressman. It is even more rare (if you’re around enough politicians to know better) when you think that Congressman has an opportunity and the ability to truly effect change in Washington. This year, I’ve been able to do that twice.
I had the pleasure of watching Tom Graves give his acceptance speech when he won his special election to Congress. Soon after, he actually voted some “unconventional” votes based on his long standing belief and campaign promises to hold each piece of legislation to a strict constitutional test. He’s already shown he’s willing to stand on principle even when it’s not necessarily the proper thing to do.
Tonight, I watched what may be one of the most heartfelt victory speeches I can remember. Austin Scott was genuinely humbled by the trust the voters of GA-8 have put in him over a popular and well respected Jim Marshall. His voice almost cracked as he stated “I’m going to be a good steward of that trust.” After spending many hours of conversation with Congressman-elect Scott over the last year and across two campaigns, I believe him.
I was once told by my sixth grade teacher that I was too cynical. Thus, I get it honestly, and I got it early. Yet, I remain an unrepentant idealist. I believe in this country. I believe in our system of government. To do so, honestly and truly, you have to believe there are people out there who really will do the right thing, who serve for the right reasons, and who are deserving of public trust.
I believe the men that Georgia has decided to send to Washington this year, -Scott, Graves, and Rob Woodall – will each bring unique talents but a common goal to the House of Representatives. We send them to D.C. at a time when confidence in Government is at an all time low. Yet the rhetoric of these men isn’t a fringe message of near-anarchy, but of limited government, acting within its constitutional authority and fiscal ability, but allowing the freedom of both individuals and markets to solve many if not most of our problems.
Two years ago, our country voted for “hope and change”. Yesterday, the country ordered more change. The men we’re sending to D.C. for the first time this year actually give me hope.