All I have to say on the election can be summed up in this letter I just sent to Tom Davis, a Republican congressman who easily won re-election in a district that supported John Kerry:
Congratulations on your victory. The people of this district are proud of you, your service to your constituents and your reasonable approach to politics.
I’m writing with an additional thought I hope you’ll take seriously. As a member of the Republican leadership, you are in a unique position to unify this nation in the wake of a fiercely contested election.
Northern Virginia, Washington and New York — the three areas most directly affected by 9/11 — all voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry, not the candidate who purports to keep us safe. That should tell you two things. The first is that we’re not fooled by George Bush’s rhetoric. The second is that we in this district consider you an exception to the dominant school of thought in the Republican Party.
My greatest fear in the next four years is that others in your party will feel emboldened by the election results to continue on a path of divisive leadership. Some are even driven by a theocratic impulse that poses a great danger to this country. Many of these Republicans are likely to remain in the White House. Many more serve with you in the House.
My hope is that you will be able to appeal to them to remember the rights of ALL Americans, not just those who voted for them. The early response from the White House seems not to take the other 49 percent of the country into account. Our country, I’m sure you will agree, cannot survive if 49 percent is torn asunder.
Again, I write you because you, in addition to serving my district, are uniquely poised to bring this country closer together. I believe you understand that any mixture of church and state demeans both. I believe you will fight for environmental protection, and that you will encourage members of your party to listen to the scientific community for guidance. I believe you will stand up for civil liberties and the respect for everyone in this diverse land.
I believe you will represent the 49 percent as well as the 51 percent. And frankly, that’s one of the only reasons for optimism I have this morning as I look around our divided nation.
Best of luck to you in this mission.