U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, is reminding us of what we used to be able to expect from our elected leaders: respect for the Rule of Law, decency and logical thinking.
We’d like to believe our leaders work for us, not their party, or themselves. We’d like to see our leaders reaching across the aisle to do what’s right for their constituents and, ultimately, the country.
Kinzinger is one of the few Republicans who has publicly congratulated President-Elect Joe Biden. And in a tweet last week, Kinzinger wrote: “Our nation deserves two competing parties who can work together when possible, and compete honorably when not.”
Kinzinger is also concerned about President Donald Trump’s insistence to claim victory in the Nov. 3 election despite not having any support for his claim in court or evidence of the election fraud he asserts. This week on CNN, Kinzinger said: “We have a responsibility far beyond what the Twitter mobs say. We have a responsibility to the Constitution of the United States that declares that in January there be a transition of power. That’s our responsibility right now, not to look at the angry retweets. To instead do what’s right for the country.”
Kinzinger said the president’s inability to allow for a transition of power brings about the “potential in the long-term to be really damaging because it takes away from people’s trust in an election system and government. … "This is far bigger than a party, than a man.”
And Kinzinger has used social media for good, debunking rumors and falsehoods about election fraud.
We hope Congress will follow Kinzinger’s lead, and there is an important opportunity now for our leaders to work together on our behalf. It’s been eight months since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed, providing economic relief for all Americans and many small businesses. That lifeline is long gone and many programs, such as foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, expire in just a few weeks. When that happens, many Americans will be facing additional financial pain.
A new pandemic aid package is needed now. But it will only come when both parties get together and secure more pandemic relief programs. This will take negotiations and true compromise from all sides. This is not about keeping score, and one side or the other claiming victory. When a deal is struck, it is the hope America wins, or at least a course can be set for help now that leads to a true opening for the entire country later.
Kinzinger has set a new tone and example for his colleagues in Congress. He should be commended. We now ask the Illinois Congressional delegation to work together, Democrat and Republican, to take the lead in Washington, D.C., and bring about long-lasting change.