Speaking with OK Representative Tom Cole
Last night I had the pleasure to sit in at the Town Hall meeting for United States congressman Tom Cole. I already had a rather favorable opinion of Mr. Cole, but last night reaffirmed the necessity of people like him in congress for me. Mr. Cole is a Republican, and I generally have trouble with the politics of the Republican Party of today… The moderation and willing participants of the party have become fewer and fewer. If Congressman Cole had been speaking in Boston I’m sure that they would consider him to be a complete hardline conservative, but those same people would not understand the culture in which Mr. Cole is a representative.
At the town hall there was probably about 30 to 40 % of the room that was made of of Tea Partiers who considered Mr. Cole to be a “socialist”, and I’m not being inflammatory, they were yelling this at him… Representative Cole happens to be regarded by many conservative organizations as highly conservative, and rightfully so. He resembles the Republican Party of 20 and 30 years ago that would not fit in today in the conservative caucus – people like Steve Largent, J.C. Watts, Bob Dole, and many more who do not look like today’s rhetorical hail storm.
Whether you live in Norman, Oklahoma or not I ask that you look for town halls for your representative, and go speak to them, and see who else speaks to them. There is a lot of disrespect, and a lot of anger. If you don’t think that the congress is sane (and I have major problems with our congress) just go see who they have to deal with when they come home… You might rethink the individuals and the system a little bit.
Well to wrap it up, I had an opportunity to speak with the congressman about joining up with the group No Labels, for whom I worked a few years ago. This group, as of today, has 82 members of the house and senate virtually equal from the parties, who are signed up to a commitment to make our government work for the people. It’s a seemingly easy promise to make, but it could be the first step in the process to ending this gridlock, or at least I believe so.
Don’t forget to look up the town halls in your area, and to reach out to your congressmen and women about representing you.
*These pictures were taken this April when I was visiting D.C. and had a chance to revisit the No Labels back office for the first time in 2 and a half years.