Nelson A. Pryor: Guest Columnist
Within days, Senator Jeff Sessions should be confirmed as attorney general of these united States. Nominated by President Donald Trump, for attorney general, the seventy year old can only be stopped by the U. S. Senate.
Florida’s two U. S. Senators, Bill Nelson, and Marco Rubio, have the final word on that confirmation.
Who is the Senator?
He is a rock-ribbed conservative. He was forged in the deep poverty and isolation of rural Alabama, sharpened during 16 years as a federal prosecutor and state attorney general and polished as a senator since 1996. Senator Sessions offers an uncompromising brand of conservatism that combines Christian and small-government values with strains of populism and a conviction to follow the U. S. Constitution, no matter where it leads, even if unpopular.
To many Trump supporters, he is a rare public servant with the backbone to enforce our country’s laws strictly, regardless of political consequences.
The roots of his backbone, a combination of independence and tenacity, are found in rural Alabama, where he grew up. He grew up in Hybart, a one-crossing hamlet where his father ran a store. The family lived in a one-story house with no driveway, a small concrete front stoop and a heating system consisting of a fireplace and space heaters. Around Hybart, on the ragged edge of Alabama’s famous Black Belt, work was limited mostly to logging or farming. Neighboring Wilcox County, home to the nearest town of any size, and Senator Sessions’s high school, was then one of our country’s poorest. It still is.
He learned thriftiness from his parents, who grew up during the depression. Upon becoming a U. S,. attorney in 1981, he had only $750 in the bank, the New York Times, on January 9, 2017, in a front page story, reports.
It was an environment that fostered Senator Sessions’s belief in frugality and self-reliance, bounded by a strict code of what was and was not fair.
It also bred, even early on, a skeptic’s eye toward elites. His parents were longtime Republicans in a state that had been run by Democrats since Reconstruction (1865-1876). In high school, Senator Sessions was fascinated by Phyllis Schlafly’s book, “A Choice Not An Echo,” an inside look at the election of 1964, describing the difference between the Republican Party establishment and the Constitutionalists.
The book enjoined true conservatives to topple the party’s kingmakers and compromisers, presaging the rise of the Tea Party and Mr. Trump-and now, Senator Sessions himself.
Now, as President Trump embarks on a presidency to restore American values, it will fall on Senator Sessions to be the point man to carry out the Constitution, a test he has been preparing for all his life.
Senate confirmation is the only thing standing between him and the Cabinet position. We need our Florida Senators to vote to confirm this decent man. Senator Sessions is one of us