As one of Mike Garcia’s former high school honors English teachers, I am disappointed that, in his reflection over his first year in office, the representative so completely dismissed two key elements of effective communication: awareness of audience and appropriate tone. I am left asking myself whether Garcia sees himself as a representative for all of his constituents.
Garcia’s generous use of simplistic labels such as “Pelosi’s liberal pals,” and “progressives [who] push job-crushing policies,” to identify Congress members not aligned with his policies, suggests that he aims to build support among the extremists of his party — even if it means alienating the majority of voters, who hover near the left or right of center. Surely Congressman Garcia has not forgotten that he won his position by a mere 333 votes. This extremely narrow victory should be a continued reminder of the diversity of voters in his district.
Our political system — and certainly the Republican Party — does not need more players who repudiate their opponents. With Garcia’s election, I hoped that the GOP would be gaining someone who would help rebuild the party around statesmanship, a spirit of collaboration and reasonableness. Acknowledging that his constituency is much broader than his base would be a great start.
Sarah Menoher Freifeld