The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Lott should clarify reason for leaving

    Matt Watson is the opinion editor at The Reflector. He can be contacted at [email protected].There appears to be a recurring trend recently of God telling people what to do. Perhaps we are entering into a thriving prophetic age.
    Oral Roberts, the ex-president of Oral Roberts University, said Wednesday that he resigned, not because he was shamefully involved in a financial scandal, but because he prayed to God, who told him on Thanksgiving Day to resign. It was the same God who told him and his son to deny allegations.
    Of more significance is the decision by Trent Lott, R-Miss., to step down as Senate minority whip after hearing a sermon at the First Baptist Church in Jackson and, of course, praying with his wife about the decision. The sermon was on Ecclesiastes 3:1, which says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
    I really hate to be so critical of an overall decent senator and his faith, but I generally grow suspicious when a politician says his reason for doing something is because he has a desire to do God’s will.
    Lott is stepping down as a result of a policy effective 2008 that will prohibit senators from lobbying former colleagues until two years after stepping down. Lott’s son has already suggested that Lott is weighing the chances of being a successful lobbyist.
    Lott was in the spotlight in 2002 for complimenting the leadership of former segregationist Strom Thurmond. This really reflected Lott’s early career of supporting segregationists and was the final straw that led to his downfall.
    However, he made a political comeback to be the No. 2 Republican in the Senate. He has been critical of FEMA and, at times, the Bush administration. He supported the recently failed immigration reform bill that was very unpopular among mainstream conservatives. His ability to make independent decisions, his nonpartisan willingness to negotiate and his effort to stay in office and help Katrina victims have been some of his more effective virtues as a lawmaker. In my estimation, he has done a good job in redeeming himself.
    Lott said he is getting old and wants to “do something else.” But why can’t he wait until the end of his term? Is lobbying so urgent that he can’t stay and help Mississippi until the end of his term?
    As a public official, these are questions he needs to answer. Lott seems to be trying to step down without anyone thinking twice about it.
    “This is not a negative thing. There’s no malice, no anger,” he said. “There is nothing but happiness.”
    On Monday, referring to himself and his wife, he said, “I don’t don’t know what the future holds for us.”
    That doesn’t sound like a situation in which a seasoned politician would allow himself to be.
    His statements, which do not let the public know anything, are all the signs of a lawmaker brushing off an important event to get out of the spotlight and start a lucrative lobbying career.

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    Lott should clarify reason for leaving