How can we honor Veterans after the election?

Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) released the following open letter on Veterans Day - November 11, 2016

Dear Friend,

This is a difficult message to write. Those of us who supported Secretary Hillary Clinton are devastated by the election results. Even now, tears come to my eyes when I think too much about what happened.

My wife Betty and I campaigned hard for Hillary, helping with events in the district and traveling to different parts of the country. I was honored when Hillary asked me to speak at the Convention this summer. In the last few days, my emotions are likely similar to many of your feelings, ranging from sadness to anger to numbness and everything in between.

This election loss has been particularly painful because elements of Donald Trump’s campaign were authoritarian and bigoted. We cannot condone the statements by candidate Trump that were racist, sexist, and xenophobic, nor his misguided views on a number of different issues.

Today is Veteran’s Day. As a veteran myself, this is a particularly meaningful day. As we reflect on what this day means, at its core it means we will honor the Constitution that our veterans risked their lives to defend. One of the hallmarks of America is the peaceful transition of power and the coming together of our nation. We are Americans before we are Democrats or Republicans or a member of another party.

On January 20, Mr. Trump goes from becoming a partisan nominee to President of the United States for all Americans. We can only hope he will govern differently than he has campaigned. I will give the Republican Party who will control Congress and the White House the opportunity to try to make America an even better place. In two years and in four years, the American people will be asked to vote again on whether or not that has happened.

We were offended when many Republicans in Congress did not act as Americans first and opposed President Obama from day one. If Hillary had won, we would have wanted those who did not support her to try to work with her. Now that the situation is reversed, we should not be hypocritical and reflexively oppose our next President.

Instead, we should judge each proposal from the new Administration and new Congress on the merits. If it is a bad idea, we will fight like hell to oppose it. If it is a good idea, we should support it. That is how we honor our veterans. Because when our veterans wore the uniform, they put their lives on the line not for the Democratic Party or for the Republican Party, but for America.


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