Congressman Dick Swett: Civility, Vision, and Honor Matter

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Dick Swett


In an era where civility is a rare commodity, recalling the way that Dick Swett conducted himself as a US Congressman and later as an Ambassador to Denmark is a reminder that civility, humility and conscience are still honorable and – perhaps even possible again.

Dick was elected to the second congressional district seat in congress in 1990 and in 92 he was handily re-elected for another term.

The turning point of Dick’s political fortunes came in 1994 with the successful passage of the assault weapons ban. Despite the danger to his own career, Dick voted for the measure and it became law. He lost his reelection bid by less than a percentage point.  FOLLOWING ON THE HEELS of the ban,  there was a decline in gun violence but when the ban was not extended under George W. Bush we reverted to the status quo ante and we all know what that has looked like for our country.

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In 1998 he was named Ambassador to Denmark by President Bill Clinton a post he held until 2001.

In this podcast I speak with Dick Swett about his political journey and his life journey since his act of courage led to the passage of the (temporary) assault weapons ban in 1994 and his razor close loss, fueled by the NRA, in the subsequent election.

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