To My Fellow Americans…

As you know, I’ve been a public official for many years, working closely with other leaders to further the agenda of my party and America. But something has taken place this week that has caused me to take stock of things, and I feel compelled to set political expediency aside and speak from the heart to you, my fellow Americans. Before making the final decision to issue this statement, I consulted with many of my colleagues, constituents, and key supporters, and as you’d imagine, more than a few of them warned me about the professional risks associated with speaking out in such a direct way on a topic as controversial as this one. But I’m putting all that to the side in the name of courage. If my statement today costs me some political capital, I’m willing to live with that. If it cost me votes, so be it. If it costs me my job, I’ll return to private life knowing that I was willing to risk it all and put my reputation and my career on the line by speaking my personal truth. Like it or not, this has to be said. Someone has to stand up and speak truth to power. I can’t stay silent because someday, I want my children to be able to look back at this moment and know that their father had the courage to stand on the shoulders of the great leaders in human history. I want my parents to know that their son lived his life with the steadfast courage and moral determination of the likes of Gandhi, Mandela, and MLK. I want my nephews and nieces to know that their uncle refused to say uncle. So here goes … deep breath … I’m going to do it. The hell with caution, the hell with worrying about the risks. The hell with worrying about what they say about me on social media and on cable news. I’m more worried about what they say about me in the history books. Let historians write that someone had to have the personal conviction to take a stand; to look the American people right in the eye and speak say what needs to be said. And, yes, that someone is me. Ladies and gentlemen:

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