Trent Lott’s fall unfortunate

Tony Venhuizen

Tony Venhuizen

When the new Congress convened on January 7, Dr. Bill Frist and not Trent Lott was the Senate majority leader. Senator Lott’s fall from power was swift and it was unprecedented.

Many were led to believe that Lott was a segregationist after his remarks at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party. I, however, do not believe that Trent Lott is a segregationist. I do not believe that his unfortunate statements at Thurmond’s party are an indication of his beliefs or of his character.

I do believe that it was necessary for Lott to step aside as leader. He made a comment that was offensive to a large group of Americans and inflames passions on a very sensitive issue. His name and his face, right or wrong, will be forever linked to segregation.

Although it is not fair, Lott had to step aside. He can no longer be an effective spokesman for the Republican party.

However, Dr. Bill Frist is an excellent choice to replace Lott. I would say that Frist’s rise is a very positive result of Lott’s fall. Senator Frist is a uniquely qualified voter on health care, prescription drugs and bioterrorism.

He chaired the committee that was responsible for supporting GOP Senate candidates in 2002 and the GOP’s strong showing boosted his already rising stock.

He is a compassionate conservative, going to Africa to fight disease and stopping on the highway to aid accident victims.

Senator Lott is a good man and his fall is unfortunate. Senator Frist is also a good man and his rise could be the salvation of the party.

Reach Tony Venhuizen at [email protected].