I watched a powerful snippet from a Face the Nation interview with Trey Gowdy two days ago, and unfortunately, can no longer find that exact section. However, I did find a transcript and have excerpted the snippet here. What struck me about this interview was his evident sincerity, and chagrin, really, that he could no longer tolerate being a member of the U.S. Congress.
Certain phrases stuck out for me. I put them in bold.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You surprised Washington with announcing your retirement — that you’re not going to run for Congress. Why did you decide to leave?
REP. GOWDY: You know, I’m just– I– I enjoy the justice system more. I enjoy being fair. I enjoy the pursuit of fairness as a virtue and I’m just more comfortable in that system. My wife hates it when I say this, but I– I was a pretty good prosecutor, I think. But I’ve been a pretty lousy politician. So I’ve done it for seven years. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do it, but it’s time for me to — whatever time I’ve got left — I want to spend it in the justice system because that’s where my heart is, and that’s where my interests–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do you say you are a lousy politician?
REP. GOWDY: I just– I– I see multiple sides of a single issue. And the fact that someone disagrees with me, does not make me challenge their love of the country. It doesn’t make me believe that they’re corrupt. I’ve got a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle. We disagree on this issue, but– but I don’t question their love for the country and I don’t– I– I just– I don’t think the end justifies the means. I think the manner in which we get places matters, and in politics too often winning is the only thing that matters. And look, every hero I have has lost. Every one of them. So losing is not the worst thing in the world. Not knowing what you believe and not caring enough about it to fight for it? That’s the worst thing in the world.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think you’ve served justice in your time in Congress?
REP. GOWDY: Not like I did in my previous job. I tried. It’s about winning in politics, and that is not what– the courtroom– there’s a reason we throw out search warrants even though we find the murder weapon. There’s a reason we throw out confessions even though we think the person did it. The process matters. The end does not justify the means. And in politics, it’s just about winning. And– and I– I can’t– I don’t want to live like that.