Ms. Sherrill’s positions and values best represent NJ’s 11th District
(Editor’s note: Chris Dale is a contributing writer for RDTdaily. He asked if he could make a constituent endorsement of Mikie Sherriill, a Democrat running in New Jersey’s 11th district. We reviewed the endorsement, and checked out Ms. Sherrill. We find that we whole-heartedly agree with Chris. Therefore, this is now an official RDTdaily endorsement.)
Given the alarming condition of national politics, it would be understandable, and perhaps reasonable, to choose a candidate for Congress based solely on party affiliation. Through lies, insults and flat-out cruelty, the White House’s current occupant has undermined Americans’ faith in the impartiality of our nation’s law enforcement and justice system, the validity of its mainstream media, and even the decency of its fellow citizens.
It is no exaggeration that we are enduring among the most politically polarized times in our nation’s history, for which our Divider in Chief bears significant blame.
A purely reflexive reaction to the coming midterms is even more forgivable in New Jersey, where the President’s lone major legislative accomplishment – a 1.5 trillion tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy – hurts New Jersey more than any other state, due largely to the law’s $10,000 deduction cap for state and local income, property and sales taxes.
Just as disappointing as President Trump are his Republican enablers in Congress – an embarrassingly cohesive group considering the uncharted depths to which Trump has sunk. Equivocating white supremacists with their protesters, supplicating himself to Russia’s strongman dictator on international television, and tearing children from the arms of their asylum-seeking parents are just a few lowlights.
So yes, residents of New Jersey’s 11th District could get a pass for choosing Democrat Mikie Sherrill simply because the (D) preceding her name differs from the president’s (R). It’s also true that, should Sherrill’s opponent prevail on November 6, GOP candidate Jay Webber will undoubtedly join the deafening silence of conservative legislators who sit mute while the most dangerous president in modern history eliminates environmental protections, threatens to disband the indispensable Western alliance, and initiates a short-sighted trade war with a country that exports half a trillion dollars in goods to the US annually.
However, the myriad reasons to be repulsed by Donald Trump’s Republican Party sell Mikie Sherrill far short. New Jerseyans should not give Ms. Sherrill their votes merely by default. They should do so because her policy positions and values best align with the district she hopes to represent in the U.S. Congress.
Her biography is impressive, even inspiring. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Ms. Sherrill served in the military for nearly a decade. She then earned a law degree from Georgetown and eventually joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. With a veteran’s mix of compassion and pragmatism, she fought illegal guns, helped ex-convicts become productive members of society, and prosecuted federal cases. She raises four children with her husband, a fellow Naval Academy alum.
Ms. Sherrill is on the right side of vital issues, often in stark contrast to her opponent, Mr. Webber. She believes that healthcare is a right rather than a privilege, while Mr. Webber has cheered efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has extended coverage to tens of millions of previously uninsured Americans. She has pledged to oppose any significant cuts to Social Security or Medicare; Mr. Webber would obediently align with Republican lawmakers’ latest ruse of using the budget deficits they themselves created – through the aforementioned tax cut – to justify sizable cuts to both widely popular programs.
Ms. Sherrill believes in gender equality, including equal pay for equal work; Mr. Webber has persistently made excuses for being one of only two state legislators to vote against gender income equality. Ms. Sherrill wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, abusers and terrorists; Mr. Webber gets a 93% rating from the NRA, which is one test politicians should be far more happy to fail.
She wants to grow New Jersey’s fledgling clean energy economy and find ways to innovatively combat global warming; Mr. Webber, despite being a rare Republican that actually believes in the long-proven scientific fact of climate change, has no significant plans to actually do anything about it. Ms. Sherrill will fight to reduce money in politics, protect voting rights and dismantle rampant gerrymandering, each of which has made our democracy less democratic. Mr. Webber would, like the rest of his party, fight just as fiercely for dark money, disenfranchisement and blindly partisan redistricting efforts.
Finally, Ms. Sherrill’s character is as admirable as would be expected from a mother of four who spent ten years in the world’s greatest military. There is significant clamor – and high-profile fundraising – surrounding efforts to elect more veterans to Congress. The reason is simple: our veterans have a track record of getting things done. Congress, not so much.
If anyone can collaborate to break the hyper-partisan, progress-crippling deadlock in Congress, it is veterans like Ms. Sherrill, who are well versed in cooperating with people of different cultures and customs to achieve positive results. Washington needs more pragmatic problem-solvers, less oft-offended grandstanders.
Ms. Sherrill is more than an ordinary, party-line candidate benefitting from a sitting president’s unpopularity. The circumstances are extraordinary, yes – but so is she. That Ms. Sherrill is even competitive in so reliably red a district – NJ’s 11th has been in Republican hands since 1985 – is testament not only to the weakness of the party in power, but also the strength of the challenger. She is the right candidate at the right time.
Ms. Sherrill’s resume, policies, and character are right for northern New Jersey, and she is clearly the best choice to represent NJ’s 11th Congressional District.