- - Sunday, February 12, 2017


He was maligned, falsely accused, portrayed as a racist, and unjustly characterized as the polar opposite of the wonderful person that he is.

Yet, when Sen. Jeff Sessions emerged victorious in his confirmation for the position of United States attorney general, he demonstrated to the world what a true leader looks like. This man of great integrity was gracious and humble, revealing just one of the many reasons why he is worthy to be the attorney general.

As Sen. Sessions stepped up to the microphone to say goodbye to his colleagues, everyone wondered what he would say to those who had spent day after day, hour after hour verbally assaulting him.

Our entire democratic republic was lifted a little higher as words of healing poured forth.

Instead of hurling his own insults, Sen. Sessions encouraged the Senate to have open, passionate debate, but challenged his longtime colleagues to never denigrate each other in the process. Instead of speaking from a spirit of revenge or bitterness, he called for reconciliation.

The former senator’s inspiring plea reminds us that he is a true statesman of the highest order.

The question remains: Will those who treated their noble colleague so wrongly now rise to the challenge and conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the offices they hold?

The position of attorney general carries with it a great deal of power. It’s a job that requires a person with a measured temperament, someone who seeks to enforce the law and to vigorously fight for justice. Attorney General Sessions has served a lifetime as a tireless advocate for truth, justice and upholding the rule of law for every American.

His commitment to constitutional principles and his gentlemanly demeanor remind me of another great American attorney general: Edwin Meese. One of my greatest treasures while serving as a vice president of The Heritage Foundation was working with former Attorney General Meese. He always found something positive and encouraging to say about each person around the table. Ever the gentleman, General Meese still exhibits a humility and kindness seldom seen in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Sessions is exactly that type of person too.

America must soon enter a time of healing if freedom is to survive. Our children need to experience the life-giving power of forgiveness and reconciliation, and learn from us how very necessary to happiness they are. Jeff Sessions has shown us that it is possible to move foreword amidst grave differences of opinion; how to forgive great personal wrongs; how to respectfully debate and listen; and how to remain true to your own principles in the process.

Sen. Sessions said it best when he bid farewell to the institution he so valiantly served in for some two decades. May his words stir in all of our hearts the desire to seek the unity and reconciliation that our nation, and our souls, so desperately need. He said, in part:

“I’ve always enjoyed participating in this great body where we are free to speak and able to advocate for the values that we have. But I don’t think we have such a classical disagreement that we can’t get together. I’ve always tried to keep my disagreements from being personal. I’ve always tried to be courteous to my colleagues. Still, tension is built in the system, right? It is there. And the plain fact is that our nation does have room for Republicans and Democrats. That’s what freedom is all about. I’m fairly firm, I’ve got to say, in my convictions, but that doesn’t mean all of us have to agree on the same thing. We need latitude in our relationships.”

He later went on to say, “You don’t have to back down if you believe you’re right and you should not back down, but there are ways that we can get along personally. And I would say that would be my prayer for this body — that in the future, maybe the intensity of the last few weeks would die down and maybe somehow we get along better.”


• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at [email protected]

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