Representative Lynn Woolsey, who is tied for the honor of being the most liberal member of the U.S. House, is retiring at the end of the current session of Congress, which will come in January 2013. The House has gone into an early recess, so that its members can campaign freely for re-election without the inconvenience of doing the work that they’ve already been elected to do. So, the speech given yesterday by Woolsey is certainly one of her last from within Congress. In this speech, she returned to the topic that has been at the center of her time in Congress: The quest for peace.
Woolsey advised her colleagues, “We need to lead with American cooperation and compassion around the world, not American weapons and brute force. We need SMART Security, a plan that puts the focus on development and diplomacy. We need a strategy that gives people hope and improves their lives instead of invading and occupying their lands.
This is not only the humane approach, Mr. Speaker, it’s also the more pragmatic one, the one that will truly advance our national security goals, and it’s a lot more cost-effective. Helping people costs pennies on the dollar compared to waging war. A lot of people have said to me over the years, Woolsey, your problem is that you think we can have a perfect world. Well, consider me guilty as charged.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with idealism and ambitious goals because I’m absolutely certain that if we don’t strive for a perfect world, we won’t ever come close to providing a safe, secure, and peaceful world for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and that’s our job here in Congress.