July 24th, 2014
Episode 69 of 241 episodes
Members of Congress are notorious for being tight-lipped about the details of the legislative process -- especially when they’re talking to journalists. Luckily there are exceptions to the informational lock-down reporters face: members of Congress who are on their way out. Our “DecodeDC: Exit Interview” series continues with one of only a couple of lawmakers who is also a scientist: New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt. Rep. Rush Holt Jr., a Ph.D. in physics, says science trains your mind. “Scientists want the evidence first and consensus later. Politicians tend to look for consensus first, and look for the evidence to match,” Holt says. That has set up a bad precedent in the current Congress, Holt says. When it comes to climate change, and other science-based topics, “ideology has trumped evidence.” Holt is also frustrated at how the Republican Leadership is running the House of Representatives. “The House is run by people who are so skeptical of government that they don’t believe government can or should do anything to help people,” Holt says. “Of course that’s troubling to those of us who got into this because we believe the government can and should help people. “ But that’s not why he’s leaving Congress. “Everybody assumes I’m bailing out of Congress because I can’t take it anymore -- it is just too frustrating, you know -- but that’s not the reason,” Holt says. Instead, Holt says he’s leaving with a real sense of accomplishment and even optimism. “I feel good about what I’ve done and what I’ve been doing,” Holt says. The 65-year-old representative has spent slightly more than a decade and a half as a liberal Democrat promoting scientific thinking and advocating for education, environmental protection and civil rights. The scientist-turned-congressman’s political interests were inherited from his parents – his father, the youngest person ever elected to U.S. Senate. and his mother, Secretary of State of West Virginia. Holt believes his most important legacy has been increasing the trust people have in government -- at least for some. He’s leaving now, he says, simply because “it’s time.” “For more than two centuries, there has been representative following representative following representative – that’s the way it’s supposed to work,” Holt says. “It’s not about any one person, and I think it’s time for the citizens of the 12th district in New Jersey to choose their next representative.” Katherine Lepri contributed to this story.
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.