by Hon. Dennis Hollingsworth, retired CA State Senator
To all those succesful, newly elected candidates out there today. Congratulations. No doubt you will field numerous calls of congratulatory wishes. Common among these sentiments will be the admonition to be sure to “Represent all the people now that you are elected.”
I will ask you to observe that these most often come from folks who were opposing you, or were supporters of the other camp.
Allow me to translate this commonly misunderstood admonition: They don’t really mean, “Do your best, listen to all points of view, and serve all whom you represent.”
No. If this was what they truly meant, that would be great. That is what you should do.
However, that’s not what they mean. What they really mean is, “You better not actually do those things you campaigned on. You need to modify, water down, or cast aside those silly things you told the people you believed in, or would endeavor to accomplish — in the name of ‘representing all the people’.”
I would like to remind you that each of you created a pact. A pact that says, “I believe these things. I will do those things. I will govern using these principles.” That pact was ratified by the people when they chose you.
Roughly half of the people won’t feel “represented” by you if you stand by those things.
Tough. That’s why we have elections. They will get a shot at you at the next election. See if their principles can gain the confidence of the people.
If you don’t stand by those principles, if you don’t govern as you said you would when you asked for them to ratify that pact with you, then you are nothing more than an opportinist and a scoundrel. A liar by action.
Don’t break that sacred trust. Represent the people by staying true to what you said you would do.