I got something wrong about John Fetterman, and want to apologize

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Regular readers weren’t surprised when I voted against John Fetterman in last year’s Senate race in Pennsylvania.

I spent months, and ink, sounding the alarm about a man who was to the left of Lenin on all of the social issues that mattered to me, including and most especially his refusal to consider any limits on abortion.

I was also angered by his softness toward convicted criminals who came before him when he was on the commonwealth’s parole board, particularly because one of the men up for consideration had been involved in the murder of a good friend’s father.

It got to the point where I sounded like Paul Revere, substituting my laptop for a horse. Unlike the Boston patriot, however, I was unsuccessful in alerting the populace to the imminent danger.

Or so I thought.

It’s not easy for me to say I’m wrong.

I am sorry for having treated John Fetterman as a clear and present danger to the commonwealth and the nation.

We still disagree mightily on abortion, on transgender surgery for minors, on gun rights, LGBT rights, parental rights and a whole host of other social hot potatoes.

I still think he was wrong to essentially hide his health diagnoses from the public for so long. I doubt there will ever be any middle ground there. The differences are wider than the Susquehanna.

But in order to maintain any semblance of honesty, integrity and authenticity, a person needs to acknowledge their errors.

I detest all of the mean things that I said about his lack of character, not because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but because they offended the truth.

You might be wondering why I have had this semi-change of heart about John Fetterman. It’s fairly clear to anyone who has been watching the news over the past few months.

Fetterman, unlike Pennsylvania’s other senator and many other legislators, has been unwavering in his support for Israel and the victims of the attempted genocide on Oct. 7.

He has openly defied the angry calls of his progressive constituents to tone it down, and in one memorable instance waived the Israeli flag in front of a bunch of protesters screaming outside of his Senate chambers.

His courageous, gutsy, and in-your-face support for Jews at a time when antisemitism is on the rise is a profile in courage, one that needs to be noticed by everyone who respects human rights.

He has nothing to gain in alienating his uber-leftist base, and everything to gain from the rest of us who don’t live in echo chambers.

I know that some on the left think he’s doing this because of donations that he received from Jewish organizations, and I know that some on the right suspect he’s playing us, but I truly do believe that this is something that denotes a deeply held conviction.

I share that conviction that there is only one victimizer in this scenario, and that while all lives matter, the ones that matter most are those that do not support terrorists.

Beyond his support for Israel and the Jewish victims of the Gaza massacre, Fetterman has also shown common sense on issues impacting the border.

As an immigration attorney, I respect the fact that he’s willing to acknowledge the chaos, and the need to do something to promote a more orderly process to enter this country.

Chaos hurts immigrants, as he knows quite well since his wife had to go through the process of legalizing her status in a country that doesn’t make things easy for good people.

In addition to his positions on Israel and immigration, the senator has also expressed dismay at the foreign purchase of a steel manufacturer and rightly called for the resignation of a Democratic colleague, Bob Menendez.

The hits keep coming, so to speak.

Again, I will never agree with this man on so many issues that define who I am.

But my father taught me that you can respect a person because of their courage, even if you would be more comfortable with their cowardice.

And for reasons displayed over the past few months, I can now say that John Fetterman is my senator.

Copyright 2023 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)