On 14 September 2001, Representative Barbara Lee (CA-D) voted against the House bill that granted President Bush the authority to use force in response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As the sole person to vote against the bill (by a margin of 420-1), Lee was roundly vilified as a “traitor,” a “coward, and even a “communist.” Later that day, as the only voice of dissent on the House floor, Lee delivered a speech to justify her position. Famously, she said to the elected representatives of our country, “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Lee’s words foreshadowed the next seven years of George W. Bush’s Presidency.

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