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Chadwick: Why Harold Ford is Wrong

Harold Ford Jr.
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Harold Ford Jr.

In his Op-Ed piece in Tuesday’s (March 2) New York Times, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. opined that the reason he was unwilling to run for U.S. Senate in New York was that “a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary…….[would end up] where the winner emerges weakened and the Republican strengthened.”

I think the Congressman is wrong.

Harold Ford, Jr. is a leader among the truly centrist and independent political figures today, and I think he would be surprised at the bipartisan support he would receive from voters in New York.

I say this not as a resident of the State of New York (which I am not) but as a registered Republican in the state of Connecticut. Were the Congressman running in my state, I would find him an attractive candidate most worthy of my serious consideration.

As he wrote in his article, Congressman Ford is an independent Democrat. He is also a pragmatist, a thoughtful leader, a man who listens before he speaks. And when he speaks, he makes eminent common sense – something that seems virtually impossible to find today in politics.

Harold Ford, Jr. is different from so many of today’s politicians. He is not a demagogue. His ability to rise above vitriolic rhetoric makes him a better man. Our Congress is chock full of blowhards on both sides of the aisle. The election in November will (hopefully) get rid of a host of them.

We need more legislators who are pragmatists and centrists to take the helm and provide true leadership. We need legislators who can find solutions and not hide behind obstructionist rhetoric. The fringe elements of both parties today have wrested control from the silent majority. The squeaky wheels are getting all the grease, while the axle is falling apart.

Congressman Ford criticizes his own party for “having spent too much time supporting a national partisan political agenda.” The same criticism must be made of the Republican Party as well. The hidden political payoffs embedded in thousands of pages of legislative bills defy any sense of honor or standard of ethics in the legislative process in Washington D.C. Americans are being hoodwinked by their elected representatives and they have had enough of it. Members of Congress have come to realize that the day of reckoning is at hand. That is why so many of them are dropping out of the race this year.

Fortunately, there are still some honorable politicians (or is that the ultimate oxymoron). Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. has consistently been a voice of reason both in Congress and since he left the House. It is tragic that the elective process is so distasteful and destructive that it drives a good candidate from even entering the race.

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Patricia W. Chadwick has had more than 35 years of investment experience. She is the founder and president of Ravengate Partners LLC, a consulting firm that provides advice on financial markets and global economics.