During the darkest days of the Cold War, some in Washington feared a Communist infiltration inside the highest reaches of the government. It would have been unimaginable then that a man born and raised in Soviet-era Moscow would mount a strong challenge for a seat in Congress, with a rallying cry of freedom against government.
Yet that’s exactly what’s happening in suburban Sacramento where Moscow-born Igor Birman, 32, is living his American dream and trying to become the first-ever member of Congress born in the Soviet Union.
“As the elites in Washington abandon freedom as the cornerstone of America’s public policy, we see all of these academic and acrimonious debates,” Birman told Fox News. “To me, though, this matter is personal. Freedom is very personal to me. I’ve lived in a society where freedom was denied to just about everyone but the elites.”
Birman, a Republican who until last year worked on Capitol Hill, is in the middle of a heated contest challenging Democratic Rep. Ami Bera. But his critiques of Washington go beyond the incumbent freshman.
“You don’t have to be a Republican or Democrat to dislike the NSA snooping through your private and intimate records. You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to realize that the most feared agencies in government, like the IRS, should not be harassing ordinary Americans for simply disagreeing. There are a lot of issues that transcend party politics these days.”