Rep. Thomas Massie, of the 4th Congressional District, was aptly nicknamed Mr. No because “Nay” is his vote-of-choice on most matters before Congress.
You might ask, So what? Here’s why you should care: his No votes are against the interests of most of his constituents – meaning, he isn’t working for you.
Let’s dive into some specifics:
- Did your family struggle from lost wages during the pandemic? Massie voted NO on Covid relief.
- Are you affected by the opioid crisis? Massie voted NO on remedies.
- Are you a veteran? NO on veterans’ food security.
- A union worker? NO on labor rights and wages.
- A disaster victim? NO on aid.
- An ethnic or religious minority, a senior, or identify as LGBTQ? NO on discrimination protections.
- A woman? NO on equal rights and pay, fairness for pregnant workers, and domestic-violence protections.
- A voter? NO on voter rights.
- For everyone else? NO on the infrastructure bill to repair roads and bridges (estimated to bring $5 billion to Kentucky), to expand broadband and renewable-energy infrastructure, and to help coal country with remediation and job re-training.
Massie gives what sound like intelligent arguments for his Nay votes (often on Twitter, where he tweets frequently throughout the day) – they’re just not wise.
Take his stance against supporting the Ukraine defense: “Kentuckians are rightfully concerned that we’re spending more on Ukraine than we are on roads and bridges” and “because Americans are better served by peace.” Note the hypocrisy here: complains about not spending enough on roads and bridges, but votes against the infrastructure bill.
Or his reason for voting No (the only No) condemning China’s internment and persecution of its Uighur Muslims: “When our government meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries, it invites those governments to meddle in our affairs,” to which one respondent quipped, Yeah, if we meddle in China’s concentration camps, they could meddle in ours.
Seriously, had Massie studied Political Science (instead of belittling John Kerry’s Poli-Sci degree), he would be able to comprehend the bigger picture, and to be wise about the complexities of geopolitical forces – like, for example, that world peace (and our own country's security) isn’t achieved by silent consent to government-sanctioned atrocities. Or that being part of a global economy means assembling relationships built upon mutual respect and cooperation.
A deeper dig reveals that Massie’s Nay votes are due to dogged adherence to libertarian theories espoused by the Ron Paul and Mises Institutes, chiefly that individualism trumps government involvement (like regulations, resolutions, and appropriations), so Massie will continue to vote No.
But the problem is, that’s the job – creating legislation, crafting bills that make life better for your constituents. And let’s face it, there’s never going to be a bill with which a congressperson will agree 100%. So a wise person would have figured out (after 10 years) how to compromise, to give and take, to work with others, to accomplish goals for your constituents – even if that means holding your nose while you push the Aye button.
Thomas Massie is definitely intelligent. You don’t get a master of science degree from MIT without a goodly amount of intelligence.
But Massie is not wise. He is a libertarian ideologue, tied to his Nay votes no matter how unwise they may be. The 4th District, and the state of Kentucky, deserve better.
Kimberly Kennedy is a freelance writer & editor. You can learn more about her by visiting her web site, WriteOnKimKennedy.com.