A Hoosier Laments Lugar Loss
It was a bad and sad day for Indiana on Tuesday.
Senator Richard Lugar not only lost in the Republican primary; Tea Party extremists did their best to humiliate America's finest public servant. A few even trespassed onto the senator's farm and put up the obnoxious "Retire Lugar" campaign signs that popped up like weeds across our state this spring.
Through his work on the school board and as Indianapolis mayor, Lugar set the stage for the remaking of the Indiana capital city into a major, world class city. As senator, he made Indiana a better state, but also globally important.
As an Indiana Republican, Senator Lugar made the party a powerhouse, but often saved the GOP from its worst excesses. The man once known as Nixon's favorite mayor was now deemed too moderate for a strong majority of Indiana Republicans.
Here is what some other, more graceful, Hoosiers posted on facebook on Tuesday night:
Kiel, Terre Haute, IN: Thanks for 36 years of representing Indiana well on a global stage, helping end apartheid and all of that.
Gabe, Columbus, IN: Lugar stood up to the hawks in the Reagan administration to demand the President break with the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines.
Dave, Indianapolis, IN: Sad day for the hungry, a sad day for our nation. Democracy is about talking with one another, not shouting at others.
Stan, a former Carmel, IN teacher whose students got involved with AIDS activism: after this real-life civics lesson where kids learned their voice can make a difference, Senator Lugar made time to meet with me and a few of the students face-to-face to listen to our concerns. Thank you Senator Lugar for your grace, tact and statesmanship.
Nora, a Syrian-American friend of mine, met with the senator the week before the election to talk about the mass atrocities being committed by the Syrian government. Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party candidate, refused to meet with Indianapolis' Syrian-American community and has been totally silent on the deadly violence in Syria.
We have a choice in Indiana this November. We can unite and build the movement to carry on Lugar's legacy or watch it be trashed by those who would rather watch the world burn.
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