In decision: Congressman represents people, not party

Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whether or not most of his constituents agree with his decision, they have to respect it.

On Monday, Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-1st) voted against the majority of his party and opposed the $700 billion bailout for a struggling United State financial system.

In a statement released to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, the congressman insisted he knew the bailout was the biggest in American history; he wasn’t satisfied with the parameters of the bill.

Again, whether or not we agree with the outcome, it is important to note that at a time of crisis, G.K. Butterfield was his own man. He did not bow to party pressure or that from financial institutions. Instead, he voted his own conscience and decided to do what he felt was right.

In our American political forum, especially in election years, we too often see our representatives in the United State House of Representatives and United States Senate vote along party lines. While this is acceptable at times because they should be more closely aligned to the party they represent, it should not always be the case.

On Monday, our own congressman chose to step away from the majority of his party. In all, 140 Democrats voted for the measure and 95, including Butterfield voted nay.

We should be proud of the will of our congressman whether we agree with his position or not. It takes a person truly dedicated to his community to vote against the majority of his party.

On Monday, Congressman Butterfield proved he was that person.