How sad. All the writer of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial, printed in the March 16 Empire, could lament about the possible departure of Ted Stevens from the Senate is less money for Alaska. Nothing about a possible loss of an advocate for those less fortunate. Nothing about an ardent supporter of our Constitution or its Bill of Rights. No mention of speaking out for the protection of our seniors or the provision of health care for the 40 million citizens that have none. No mention of protecting our environment, something that makes Alaska what it is and why folks chose to live there. No mention of the loss of a strident voice against violations of human rights stemming from such things as the Bush policy of sending persons to other countries to be tortured because we don't, ostensibly, permit it here.
Of course, Stevens has never been anything remotely close to any of those things. Here we have a United States senator, a member of one of the most (or at least used to be) august legislative bodies in the world. A legislative body that made policies that served as a beacon for all persons in the world seeking to escape their shackles and be accorded the rights of free people, free to speak as they wished, to associate as they wished, to marry as they wished. Yet all the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner can lament is the possible loss of a pork barrel senator. How incredibly sad that the high hopes and dreams of our founders, and our former supporters throughout the world, have been reduced to this. The more senators like Stevens that we can get rid of, and replace with persons having at least a minimal understanding of the role of a United States senator in the world and at least one enlightening thought over 20 or 30 or whatever years of occupying space in the Senate, the better off we'll be.
Richard M. Burnham
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