Friday February 24th, 2012
Words Like Bullets:
An open letter to Congressman John Sullivan
We acknowledge your qualified apology for your statements made at the town hall you held in Bixby this week. While we concede that it is human nature to be caught foot in mouth, we continue to find your words unsettling. Your lapse in judgment extends far past an unfortunate choice of words. You owe your constituents more that such a meager apology. Actions can only heal the wounds of your words. We live in a state that is often the subject of ridicule because of our elected officials, their policies and their statements. We challenge you to come out vocally & condemn this type of rhetoric that has been championed by the most extreme among us. Words are like bullets, & the characters & pundits who encourage such vicious notions are only loading the gun.
Metaphor or not, your words suggested to the community that violence is a solution if you do not agree with an elected official’s point of view. Suggesting that to solve political differences you would have to approach an elected official “with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them” exceeds the limits of poor taste by miles. We find it shocking that your memory is so short that you chose to use such toxic rhetoric in a year when a citizen in Arizona chose to use those very tactics on one of your colleagues in congress! If you cannot condemn this type of vitriol for your constituents, we hope that you would do it for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Congressman Sullivan, our State is better than this; our nation is better than this. While the political discourse in Washington may be ugly these days, it is incumbent upon our leaders to set the example & to calm the toxic firestorms brewing within their perspective parties. Your statements poured fuel on that fire. In the future we hope that you will consider using words befitting your position. Remember that it is an honor to serve your state in congress and it is an honor that can easily be taken away.