Rep. Tim Murphy discusses Syria with Waynesburg University Stover Scholars
Congressman Tim Murphy spoke to the Waynesburg University Stover Scholars at a luncheon regarding the pressing conflict in Syria Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Addressing the steps of action that will now occur after President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve or deny possible use of force in Syria, the congressman explained that he is closely watching the various bills going through congressional committees to see if he could support any of the measures.
“By engaging the Stover Scholars in his deliberations over the current Syria controversy, Rep. Murphy demonstrated the thoroughgoing analytical process we should expect from all public officials and to which all citizens should aspire,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law.
Rep. Murphy stressed that he is not taking this vote lightly, as he understands that his, or any other congressperson's vote, could be the 218th vote that puts a measure over the top.
With processing such a complicated and crucial decision, Rep. Murphy explained his five influences in making this particular vote in Congress, assessing the overall issue in terms of the military, political, geo-political, moral and personal spectrums.
Senior criminal justice major and Frederick, Md., native Daniel Czajkowski observed, “Congressman Murphy's visit marks an influential moment in our further discovery of the intersection between ethics and public policy. Our discussion with him demonstrated the complexity of making well-informed and morally grounded decisions in today's political arena."
“We should not base our decisions on our feelings about the President,” he noted. “Rather, we should take a balanced approach to decision making while taking our own experiences both personally and as a nation into account.”
When asked about the evidence of Syria's role in the chemical weapons attack, Rep. Murphy drew upon the advice of former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, saying, “It's impossible to make a decision with 100 percent proof; having 80 to 90 percent proof is rare and excellent.”
Freshman communication major Ryan Schwertfeger from Oakland, N.J., said, “I was thankful that we were able to speak with Congressman Murphy about such a pivotal issue in America today amidst his hectic schedule. We learned a lot about his careful decision making and how he casts a vote in Congress.”
Paige Carter, a freshman pre-law major from Coraopolis, Pa., noted, “Congressman Murphy is the antithesis of the clichéd politician. He showed through his words an indelible character that assured me that with every political decision he makes, he is solely voting because he believes it to be the best possible option for the general welfare. Rep. Murphy put major political controversies into a clear perspective and challenged us all to consider beyond what appears to be right.”
John Wicker, a freshman business management major from Ambridge, Pa., concluded, “Representative Murphy is a man with keen insight who looks beyond his own personal worldview for the welfare of our nation's liberty and security. He assesses the consequences and makes sure that he is fully aware of the events that may follow, whether he decides to vote for or against the unmanned strikes in Syria. While he is still undecided, I trust that Rep. Murphy will make a well-informed decision based on the astute discernment that he has already displayed.”
As Rep. Murphy concluded in his address to the Stover Scholars, he encouraged the students that when making a decision to not act upon on an issue, that they should also consider, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
Pictured: Congressman Tim Murphy speaks with the Waynesburg University Stover Scholars.
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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist