Americans have a long-held belief that certain values are woven into the fabric of our country.
We expect our elected officials to support and defend those values against attack. As a 24-year veteran of the U.S. military, I am very much aware of the solemn oath that public servants must swear to — and abide by. First and foremost is to protect the Constitution.
Unfortunately, not all of our servant leaders take that oath to heart. Congressman Rob Wittman, in recent months, has demonstrated feckless leadership by choosing to covet his relationship with the Republican Party over the democratic beliefs and constitutional imperatives that we cherish.
He remains silent while the administration wages war on the judicial branch of our government, claiming that opposition to the president is merely political. He remains silent when the president draws frightening and false equivalence between the killings ordered by Russian president Putin and the actions of the U.S. government. And the congressman remains silent in the face of attacks on the legitimacy and integrity of our elections, even though it was elections that put him and the president in office.
Clearly silence is not golden in a representative republic that depends on critical thinking and adherence to a shared system of values for its strength and long life. The administration's rhetoric has diminished confidence in our system of government and has drawn harsh criticism from Republican and Democratic leaders alike, as well as other world leaders. But, again, Congressman Wittman has refused to stand up for even basic non-partisan American ideas. He has made no attempt to unify his district. He has been unresponsive to constituent requests for a face-to-face, frank discussion of these issues. His silence seems to say all you need to know about how much he cares for our American values.