Lines in the sand | Ott Observations

Mike Bost is our representative in Congress. He has a website which summarizes his positions on a variety of issues. 

Our country is divided over whether the past presidential election was legitimate or stolen. This is not one of the issues covered on Representative Bost’s website.

So, I emailed him a question. Either the election was stolen or a former president is denying the results of a legitimate election. Both scenarios would be the crime of the century. 

I asked him why the Republican House majority has not made answering this question the top priority in their investigative powers.

I received a letter in reply. Mr. Bost said he supported efforts to bring individuals to justice who engaged in illegal activities. 

In fact, over a 1,000 people have been convicted for crimes during the Jan. 6 the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Most made a defense claim that their leaders told them the election was stolen and that they needed to save their country.

Our judicial system universally rejected this defense. Bost voted against certification of the election. He was, in effect, one of those leaders. To my knowledge he has never provided any concrete information as to why he voted against certification.

Mr. Bost said he did not support the “partisan political theater manufactured by Speaker Pelosi” because she did not allow a bipartisan panel to examine all evidence of the truth about Jan. 6 and efforts to subvert an election.

In fact, Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney played key leadership roles on the investigative panel. 

He ignored what I really was asking, which was if you thought the investigation was bogus, why haven’t you started another one now that you are the majority party?

I’m almost certain Mr. Bost knows the election was legitimate. And I am also almost certain he didn’t vote to certify the election … or make any effort since to ensure his constituents trust the results … because he didn’t think we would reelect him. 

Neither Cheney nor Kinzinger are currently still serving in the House.

From early childhood, we all learn there are times you need to draw “a line in the sand.” This is a clear boundary for how far you can be pushed until you fight back. 

Our representatives take a vow to protect our Constitution when they take office. Subverting an election or allowing an election to be stolen is an assault on our Constitution. 

But this does not represent a clear line in the sand for Representative Bost. Evidently, even this must be tolerated to ensure his re-election.

Average citizens are drawing such lines in the sand even though they are facing much greater risks than not getting reelected. 

I know of a woman who is pushing for either change or divorce with an unsupportive and abusive husband. She’s not sure how she will economically survive and raise her children on her own. But she will not continue to tolerate the abuse or lack of support.

I know parents who are refusing to enable their children’s destructive drug abuse. They are willing to help, but only with rehabilitation. They are practicing tough love. Their line in the sand risks alienation from their child or health risks including death. Their hearts yearn to protect their children but their brains tell them the only help that stands a chance of breaking the addiction cycle is rehabilitation.

I know men who are facing moral and ethical challenges in their jobs. These are jobs that pay well and provide for their families. These jobs are also asking them to do things they know are wrong, or they are asking them to put the job ahead of their families. Their line in the sand is to leave the job, not knowing how they are going to meet future financial responsibilities.

There is some time to consider who we want representing us before we have to vote in 2024. If a candidate won’t protect the U.S. Constitution merely out of the self-concern of getting re-elected, where is their line in the sand?

We are facing much tougher decisions in our ordinary lives with more dire consequences. Yet we are demonstrating the courage to draw our lines in the sand regardless of our fears. Can any policy difference be more important than electing representatives who have that same courage?

I know where I’m drawing a line in the next election.

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Bill Ott

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