As a Democrat who opposed from the very start the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq, I cast my November vote for Lincoln Chafee ’75, valuing his fairness and integrity far above the nastiness and partisanship that has hijacked both of our political parties (“The Messenger,” January/February). Although I can see the current advantages of Democratic control of both chambers of Congress, Chafee’s defeat disappoints me.
It is good to have him back at Brown and, thanks to your fine cover story, to learn more about his past and his plans. Our beloved Professor of Classics John Rowe Workman must be smiling that a classics major can have such a distinguished public career. Perhaps Chafee’s classical studies or reading could have led him to Milton’s Paradise Lost, where, in Books 4 and 5, he might have seen what today, in my mind, he has become. The Arch-Fiend Satan, taking his legions with him, had hijacked (in modern parlance) one-third of Heaven of their obedience to the Almighty. However, a certain seraph among them, Abdiel, in fervent opposition, alone denounced the plan, and scorned by all the rebel angels, walked out and returned to Heaven.
There, among the good angels, Abdiel was welcomed with joy, and a voice from a golden cloud spoke in praise to Abdiel:
Servant of God, well done, . . . who single hast maintained
Against revolted multitudes the cause of truth . . . for this was all thy care,
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse.
I apologize if these thoughts and quoted words cause Chafee to blush and reverent readers to wince. We don’t know what became of Abdiel, but thankfully, what he stood for still lives, and we surely wish the best for the character and values of Lincoln Chafee.
Caleb R. Woodhouse ’54
Little Compton, R.I.
I am writing as a staunch conservative Republican. Lincoln Chafee was a Republican in Name Only (RINO), and I actually welcomed his defeat as a way of “cleaning house” of abortion-loving liberals. It has always amazed me that a state that is predominantly Catholic would continue to elect politicians who champion abortion on demand as well as a cavalier attitude towards the sanctity of life. I would also like to remind your readers that it was Chafee who held up the nomination of the wonderful John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. This will remain another stain on Chafee’s already terrible record. So, to Lincoln Chafee, I say good riddance!
Alice Lemos ’81 PhD
Would Lincoln Chafee consider running for the U.S. Senate in New York? There are many of us disenfranchised Republicans here who would be delighted to work our butts off to see him get elected. For starters, we support stem-cell research, loathe this war in Iraq, and are horrified by the nonstop spending of nonexistent funds.
Dreams aside, it was refreshing to read about a bright and outspoken Republican who makes one proud to belong to the GOP. It is highly tempting to take a swipe at the mentality of the Rhode Island electorate, 60 percent of whom said they were satisfied with Chafee’s work and then trashed him at the polls. Perhaps these visionaries see something in the name Whitehouse?
Elizabeth R. Baecher ’57
Mount Kisco, N.Y
It was interesting to read the well-written article explaining Lincoln Chafee’s loss in the November election. Yes, it did cost the Republicans the leadership, but in terms of voting record it was a loss for a Democrat in Republican’s clothing. For Chafee more often than not supported the Democratic party.
Rhode Island Republicans did not appreciate his liberal-leaning votes, even though he called them evidence of his belonging to the political center. Even Brown has shown a marked shift to the left since the days when President Henry Wriston was considered a liberal. Too bad! I believe in the two-party system, but the Republicans, including Chafee, have destroyed themselves by joining the Democrats and giving up all the positive attributes of a truly conservative party.
Donald G. Manly ’52