I understand that it's difficult for Democrats to not vote for a Democrat in times like these. Many Democrats feel that "they" have been out of power for too long, and they yearn to see someone from "their" team representing them in government. I understand. I've felt that way for years.
But, is Michael Arcuri really on your team? Are you willing to say that you're part of the team to legalize torture, to revoke habeas corpus, to end enforcement of the Geneva Conventions, to give amnesty to war criminals, and to allow the President of the United States to imprison anyone he wants?
Many Democrats rationalize their continued support for Michael Arcuri by saying that, once Arcuri is elected, he will return to the mainstream of the Democratic Party, and will end his support for President Bush and the Republican agenda.
I know it's hard to give up hope on Michael Arcuri, but hopes like these are irrational. The difficult truth is that, in the House of Representatives, the campaigning never stops. As soon as one election is over, members of the House begin positioning themselves for the next election, two years later.
So, if you say that it's an intelligent campaign move for Michael Arcuri to help the President of the United States and the Republican Party to dismantle the Bill of Rights, and you vote for him with that excuse in hand, get ready. Get ready, because you will have taught Mike Arcuri a bad lesson - that to win elections, he needs to cave in to the Republicans.
This won't be the last time Arcuri betrays your values. He'll do it over and over again, secure in the belief that you would never ever vote against him. He'll take you for granted, while he sets his sights on winning the affection of Republican voters.
If Arcuri is willing to sacrifice habeas corpus to get elected this time, what will he sacrifice next time? The right to a free press?
If you don't think there will be a next time, you're fooling yourself. Democrats who keep on supporting Michael Arcuri in spite of his betrayal of us are like women who stay with men who hit them. They make excuses, and say that it was just a one-time thing. No matter how many times they're hit, they say it was justified.
Allow Michael Arcuri to strike out and break your freedom now, and it won't be the last time. Your rational mind knows this to be true. Emotionally, you've built up a connection with the Arcuri for Congress campaign. That's understandable, but you have to have the moral strength to end this dysfunctional relationship.
Women who have children with violent husbands have a moral obligation to their children to leave their husbands, because it isn't just the women who get hit. The kids get hit too.
It's the same thing with Michael Arcuri. Maybe you're willing to give up your freedom. Maybe you're willing to risk it that you won't yourself be greeted at the door by Homeland Security agents ready to take you off to one of Bush's gulags on a trumped up charge.
If that's true, you need to stop thinking about yourself. You need to start thinking about the people who are more vulnerable than you. It's not just your freedom that has been taken away. You need to start thinking about others who, though innocent of any crime, will suffer the extreme consequences of the Military Commissions Act.
We already know of innocent people who have been picked up in the United States, flown off to prisons in undisclosed locations overseas, and tortured. These people never lifted a hand against the United States of America. Michael Arcuri supports the continuation of the program that abused these people.
If you support Michael Arcuri in this election, you're supporting that program too.
A Democrat came here last night and suggested that it's okay for Michael Arcuri to support this program of arbitrary imprisonment and torture, because it's what's needed to get elected.
What will be needed next time?
Getting a Democrat elected is not worth it. I am a Democrat, but I vote for freedom first.