On December 16, 2017, I posted a blog called “Distance.” It looked at the distance between legislators and children who depend on the CHIP health insurance program. The legislators are removed from the people whose lives they are affecting. The blog suggests that legislators should be required to perform community service in the hospitals and doctors’ offices where these children are served in order to know them first hand.
Yesterday, the distance between a Senator and the victims of sexual assault was reduced to near zero when two survivors of sexual assault, Maria Gallagher and Ana Maria Archil, confronted Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator. These women wanted Flake to know that rushing to confirm Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination as a Supreme Court Judge before fully investigating the sexual assault accusations brought forth by Dr. Ford and others, diminished the credibility of all victims of sexual assault who come forward to tell their stories. One of these woman said to Flake “…look me in the eyes when I am talking to you.” Guess what? He did.
The distance was gone. The Senator’s humanity was moved. The vote has been postponed for a week while the FBI investigates the accusations. This was an example of true democracy in action. True democracy occurs when citizens are heard by legislators. REDUCE THE DISTANCE!