03 November 2010

An Open Letter to Russ Feingold

Senator Russell Feingold
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

3 November 2010

Dear Senator Feingold:

Thank you.

That's not how I wanted this letter to start. I wanted it to start "Congratulations".

Thank you for making me proud of Wisconsin. For eighteen years, no matter what shenanigans went on in Washington, or in the statehouse for that matter, I could still be proud of us. Because we had Russ Feingold, and had sent him to office three times.

Thank you for leading. Leadership isn't just sprinting out in front of whatever direction the herd is already headed; a leader figures out where we should be heading, and points the way, even when the herd doesn't want to follow.

Thank you for showing my kids what it's like to have principles, and to stick to them. You won't be in office come January, more's the pity. The biggest reason, of course, is that you stuck to those principles and refused the torrent of outside money that surely would have defeated Mr. Johnson's barrage of negative ads. But the memory of what you stood for, in this campaign and for the past eighteen years, and how you stood up for it, even when you were in the minority, even when you were a minority of one -- that's not going to go away. Ever.

Thank you for giving me hope, in a time when it seemed nothing came out of Washington but more wars, ever more blatant corruption, and endless attacks on civil liberties. I really did feel like someone was representing me there, trying to stop the wars, working against "the best policies money can buy", and most of all reminding the American people that their Constitution meant something, that tearing up its guarantees in exchange for bogus protections from manufactured fear was a fool's game.

None of it was a waste, Senator Feingold. Not a minute of it. I know a place in history is small consolation to a man who would rather still be working to make history. But yours is secure, Senator. We won't forget.


Rick Wayne
Madison, Wisconsin´╗┐