My slide into political complacency did being with the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. When I first heard of the controversy, I figured President Bush had a good reason and the right to let the attorneys go. I was just tired of the Bush-bashing and figured it was just another one of those cases where the blame Bush agenda was being promoted.
I soon learned that one of the U.S. Attorneys dismissed was named David C. Iglesias. I called my husband and I asked him if it could be the same David Iglesias. Tom was pretty sure it had to be the same guy. I remember going home and digging out my husband’s mission trip videos and photos and quizzing him about all the details. I also remembered him showing me the newspaper clipping about David and A Few Good Men when we first started dating. We actually have a picture of Tom with David’s parents on a bulletin board of mission trip pictures. I’m not sure when or how I confirmed the David Iglesias the U.S. Attorney was David Iglesias, son of missionaries, but for me, these facts became very relevant. I wanted to write about it.
The trouble is that I wanted Tom’s missionary friend, David to be vindicated and I wanted President Bush to not be responsible for these events. How could I write about that? Am I going to be biased? Overwhelmed with discerning facts and fictions.
I am not consulting facts as I write today, but rather writing from my notes and memories of the time.
I think it was my mom who told me Mr. Iglesias was dismissed because he would not rush through some case in time for an election. At least that is what I remember.
Here are the conclusions I drew more from my heart and head than from research:
David C. Iglesias is a Christian, possibly Conservative as the son of Baptist Missionaries
He was appointed by George W. Bush
His job is to determine which cases should be prosecuted or not. His job requires him to gather and review the facts to see if there is enough evidence to prosecute a case. THIS TAKES TIME
Keep in mind: During the time period in which this was beginning to play out, I was not listening, viewing, or reading a lot of news. I was busy with other things. And, the subject of politics was getting too complicated: the war, the war, the economy, and on…
So my heart came to this conclusion:
David C. Iglesias , Christian first, U.S. Attorney second, was doing his job with all of the honesty and integrity of a Christian man. He would not be pushed by party or political expediency, but rather the Rule of Law and the evidence available. He would not was going to waste time or tax-payer’s money on frivolous cases. Nor was he going to rush decisions to influence elections. I figured the problem was local, or I hoped it was local. At this point, I’m still hoping to convince my political novice husband to consider the GOP and conservatism in spite of “them” firing his friend from his Panama days.
It was during this time I just started to get mad and sad about the Bush administration. Ironically, in his book, David Iglesias shares the same kind of feelings of hope and disappointment. What was the truth about everything. I didn’t trust anything from any source. Did “Bushlie”? I just wanted honest leaders who value the individual and the rule of law, etc. Where were they? What about the war? Maybe we shouldn’t be there, but we can’t just leave now. Right? Terrorism? Safety? Freedom? I’m drowning in political thought. I must stop.
In Justice: Inside the scandal that rocked the Bush administration
One day, a colleague told me that David Iglesias had been on N.P.R. Since I’d been avoiding politics, I’d let the issue go. I decided to look Mr. Iglesias up to catch up with the latest. I was so excited to see that he’d written a book. I’d read some things he’d written in Native Peoples Magazine, and knew at the very least, he knew how to write. (And, as a busy mom, etc., I understand why he had a co-author with this tome.)
I see new books released everyday as a librarian. I was tired of all of the –scandal- Bush-wrong- war-books thrust my face via professional journals and our library’s shelves, but I needed this book. I ordered my own copy immediately and read it as fast as I could.
I read and re-read passages, highlighting and taking notes. Ultimately, I learned that the story was pretty similar to the one I’d created in my head. I was really angry! Here is a man who is the kind of person I want in office, not just as a U.S. Attorney, but the Oval Office. These kinds of people do get destroyed because they refuse to play the game, which is exactly why I want people like David Iglesias in important positions.
It was hard to read of people with whom I disagree “saving the day”, but right is right and wrong is wrong and sometimes left doesn’t matter.
Sometimes when I hear someone with whom I generally agree trot out someone like Karl Rove as a Republican poster boy, I just wonder. What am I missing?
I guess this incident really started me thinking that I don’t really know what I’m talking about when I talk conservative. For example, I made a sloppy statement about David Iglesias not being all that conservative. What did I mean by that? So, I re-read page 28 of In Justice. I won’t dare try to paraphrase or cite it here, but I actually agree with what he wrote in a good part. I am having a hard time figuring out the free-market – I can’t seem to win the argument with my husband about NAFTA. Unions? Free Speech? The list goes on.
I know I’m not happy with what has been going on over the last 100 or so days. It seems that most things are in direct opposition with my values, forget my political identity.
Finally, inspired by David C. Iglesias’ comment, I have an important assignment: To define what Conservatism is to me.