We just celebrated Presidents’ Day. I imagine the toast our 14th Congressional District Representative, Randy Hultgren, gave past and present presidents.
“Here’s to humble, fearless Washington. Here’s to emancipator Lincoln. And here’s to the guy I continually support to keep my job and my standing with Republicans in the House.”
In my dictionary, under “cave,” Randy’s name is used to illustrate the noun: “To avoid meeting his constituents regularly, Randy hides in a cave.” Not that his constituents haven’t tried to smoke him out: “… 100 people protested outside the Campton Hills district office of U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren … brandishing signs … and occasionally chanting, ‘We want a town hall’” (Kane County Chronicle, 2/27/17).
More tragically, his votes illustrate constant caving to his Republican majority. Unlike Bruce Banner, Marvel Comics’ ideal contemplative scientist committed to Superman’s “Truth, justice, and the American way,” Randy proves more like The Hulk, Banner’s giant green Mr. Hyde.
Randy is less Hultgren, more The Hult, evidenced by votes recorded on FiveThirtyEight’s, “Tracking Randy Hultgren in the Age of Trump.”
For example, The Hult voted for the Republican-pushed American Health Care Act, its possible passage not lost on local protesters: “They voted to strip insurance from roughly a million Illinoisans,” Geneva resident Jeanne Scown said, “and to severely damage the health care of all their constituents,” (Kane County Chronicle, 8/31/17).
And guns? “It's not often when Republican Rep. Peter Roskam joins with all the Democrats … . But last week, [Peter] Roskam, of Wheaton, did just that,” a Daily Herald editorial (12/13/17) declares. “And he got it right. Unfortunately, … Randy Hultgren … got it wrong … . The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act … makes it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines” where allowed to carry in school zones and federal lands open to visitors.
If you enjoy a clean Fox River, better hope coal’s not discovered beneath the old Mill Race Inn’s foundation; The Hult supported the nullification of the Stream Protection Rule and the removal of The Bureau of Land Management’s regulation of waste from oil and gas production. Maybe he figured it’s no fracking business of ours, so why not agree to despoil other states’ waterways?
The Hult went along with Republicans “overhauling” the tax code, throwing pennies to the lower and middle classes, while making the mega-rich richer, and, according to businessinsider.com, causing “the federal deficit to balloon.”
Every vote to impeach President Trump The Hult pooh-poohed with a No vote, supporting him who impugns the integrity of the Justice Department, the morality and work ethic of immigrants, and the loyalty and patriotism of Democrats who, not applauding Trump’s every State of the Union whim, he called “treasonous.” No joke.
Write The Hult. Tell him to morph back into Randy Hultgren, to lead with his brain rather than follow like a cowardly lion.
It only takes courage.
Rick Holinger lives in Geneva, teaches high school English, and moderates a writing workshop. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.