Enclosed is my congratulatory letter to my newly minted representative.
Dear Rep Esty,
Congratulations upon your hard fought victory in the Fighting Fifth. Having moved to the district a week after the election, I missed the opportunity to vote for you, but as a lifelong Democrat, I would have been delighted to do so. As a freshman congressman, I hope you will bring a new perspective and enlightened approach to the task of governing the country.
The problems that will confront the 113 Congress cannot be overstated. By the time you are sworn into office on Jan 13, the lame duck 112th will likely have patched up some sort of interim solution to the impending combination of mandatory tax increases and spending cuts, but even more likely will have failed to myriad other essential obstacles to prosperity: the unsustainable fiscal trajectory of the entitlements, a rationale energy policy, the treatment of undocumented immigrants, reformation of the tax code. All these tasks will present themselves in a partisan atmosphere of intensity as great as the country has ever seen.
Here's an out-of-left-field idea. Find another freshman on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum. Someone from Oklahoma, say, or Arkansas. Invite them to lunch. Promise not to talk about politics. Tell each other stories. Talk about your families, your hobbies, how you unwind at the end of the day. Agree to meet once a month for the remainder of the term, no matter what. It's hard to demonize someone, or to be demonized by them once you know each other.