What, Fly Commercial?

What, Fly Commercial?

- in House of Representatives


Anthony Russo

To the Editor:

Re “So Much for a Cleaner Washington” (editorial, Sept. 29):

On a flight to Washington some years ago, I found myself seated (in coach) next to the congressman from my district. With all the politeness I could muster, I asked whether I could tell him why I was horrified by the legislation he supported and by his party’s agenda. For the next two hours, we had a respectful conversation.

If my comments made him uncomfortable, he didn’t show it. Without trying to convert me to his ideas, he helped me to understand them a little better. Even in those less polarized times, I was impressed by his openness to an unscripted encounter with a constituent who disagreed with him.

The abuses of private and military flights by two cabinet members, Tom Price (who has resigned as a result) and Steven Mnuchin, and others betray attitudes of arrogance, contempt and self-importance. Just as bad, and the greater loss, is that they reflect these public officials’ fear of unfiltered exposure to the citizens they claim to serve.


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