Ted Sevigny suggested in his Sept. 11 letter, “Mr. Connolly’s misplaced duty,” that since the overwhelming majority of Rep. Gerald E. Connolly’s constituents, including me, opposes a strike on Syria, that Mr. Connolly (D-Va.) should resign his office rather than vote for such an action. I disagree.
The great Irish statesman, political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke, who supported the grievances of the American colonists in 1775, had a very different opinion. In 1774, in Bristol, England, he stated that representatives should not merely be delegates: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
Mr. Connolly is doing exactly what I expect him to do as my representative.
Robert Finkelstein, Reston
A member of Congress is elected to use his or her knowledge to represent the voters, not to vote based on the latest polls. They have more information and knowledge about most issues than the average voter. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly’s experience is a case in point. I trust the foreign-policy credentials of a member of Congress who served on the staff of the Foreign Affairs Committee for years and has access to current briefings.
Mr. Connolly (D-Va.), working with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), put forward a well-considered, middle-of-the-road approach to dealing with the crisis. His experience, no doubt, was instrumental in fashioning such a proposal. That he did it in spite of what the polls show demonstrates not a disregard for the voters but a willingness to exercise the type of leadership that is lacking in today’s Congress.
Christopher J. Ambrose, Lorton