My Two Cents

Ruben Diaz

February 10, 2009

by Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz

A round of applause to the New York Post for today’s editorial Flip-Flopping With Kirsten: "Still, Gillibrand’s metamorphosis has been so swift, and so effortless, that it’s necessary to wonder whether she holds any convictions at all."

Like many New Yorkers, I am still trying to understand where our new US Senator will stand tomorrow on any number of today’s issues. One month ago, her constituents upstate knew her as someone who would stand firm. In November, they re-elected her because of her positions on issues that mattered to them. While some apologists excuse her flip-flop as her ability to evolve, many see it as a betrayal.

Kirsten Gillbrand’s constituents re-elected her for her fiscally conservative roots – now she is in favor of the Federal Stimulus Package. They re-elected her because or her support of the Constitution’s Second Amendment. All of her life , she has supported for the rights of gun owners and hunters, to the point where she has earned a 100% lifetime rating with the NRA. Although she denies that she is changing her stance on guns, we will wait and watch.

The selection of Kirsten Gillibrand as Hillary Clinton’s replacement was seen as a slap in the face to New York’s immigrant community and their representatives. While campaigning in her district as a Member of Congress, Kirsten Gillibrand bragged about her position against immigrants to the point where she was called an anti-immigrant and a xenophobic! Her immigration record clearly defines her as an opponent of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Does anyone really expect her to truly lead the path to citizenship for New Yorkers who are illegal immigrants?

Her constituents re-elected her because, as a Member of Congress, she maintained opposition to homosexual marriage. Upon appointment to the US Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand declared her support for gay marriage.

Senator Gillibrand’s sudden change of heart on core issues have left many wondering, "Is she for real?" There’s always tomorrow, when, who knows – maybe she will be swayed back to her original positions – or not.

Although I am a mere State Senator who has yet to have had the privilege of meeting our junior Senator, I would like to put in my two cents and offer the following advice to Senator Gillibrand as she embarks on her new journey to find her real identity.

Senator, if you are going to be a leader, lead. If you stand for certain convictions, maintain them. It’s better to go down for your convictions than be known as the one who will dance to any music that they play. Although there is much to admire in politicians who can change their minds because of the circumstances of change, don’t let anyone make you cave in or fold on issues that matter to you. Don’t be pressured to dance to their music.

If you don’t keep the promises you make today, no one may trust your word tomorrow. And that, dear Senator Gillibrand, is a shame, because your word is the only thing you take to your grave.