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A crook succeeds me today in Congress

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We now know more about his fake biographical information. We are appalled at his callous and misleading flattery to the Jewish community. His apology tour was commendable and continues to raise more disturbing questions. We’ll learn more about his new found wealth and questionable financial disclosures and campaign finance as the press, law enforcement and, ideally, the House Ethics Committee dig in. But we already know enough.

Could he enjoy all the attention? This inexperienced newcomer who fabricated much of his life story is now better known than most members of Congress, myself included. He becomes as well known as others who abused the trust, such as Sam Bankman-Fried and Bernie Madoff. Like them, he seems to have managed his finances in a very unusual, even illegal way. But I have to wonder, after seeing his delight in the attention and his self-esteem, if he likes everyone knowing his name now – even if it’s because of another big lie.

People in my neighborhood are holding rallies, signing petitions and calling on Republican leaders to take action. The district is a model of moderation, seen by most political observers as a 50-50 district with voters who adopt an attitude of action. They don’t like partisanship and appreciate say-it-like leadership. They’re now dealing with a slippery, inexperienced liar who says it like it’s not. They reached out everyday to ask, “How could this happen? and “What can we do?” We rely on the press to keep digging, law enforcement to keep investigating, and political pressure to keep building on the House.

But again, I believe we’re going to get it right. So many panicked people have come to me during Mr. Trump’s presidency, fearing that his tactics will win him a second term — and a term, no less. He lost. I was one of the last people in the room as the January 6 riot escalated, and people rightfully feared the insurgents would succeed. We certified the election that night, and over 960 people were charged. Holocaust deniers were resolutely turned back.

One of my favorite lines from the 2011 movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has always stuck with me: “It’s gonna be okay in the end. So if it’s not okay, it’s not the end yet.” is what I feel for America right now. It’s not a naïve idea; it’s what keeps us sane and able to keep moving forward in the era of Mr. Santos and of Mr. Trump. The system works – if not right away, at least eventually. It has worked throughout our history, and it will work now.

Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, has represented New York’s third congressional district since 2017. He is a former Nassau County leader and mayor of Glen Cove on Long Island and ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of New York in 2022.

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