Letters to My Representatives 6-16-2017

I almost didn’t get my letter in this week. Between our upcoming move and a graduation party in 7 days, I’ve been scrambling for time. So I called my Senators on Tuesday (and I’ll call again in a few minutes) to ask them to vote NO on the AHCA, to demand public disclosure and hearings on the bill, and to fight against it with all they have. Here are some scripts from ItsTimetoFight.com to help you in your own calls:

I know it seems pointless to call, but really, it’s a few minutes out of your day. And here are some good reasons to call:

  • Democratic Senators use the call/email volumes to better argue against the bill; if we call, they can report those numbers to their GOP colleagues to help convince them to vote NO
  • Republican Senators who will vote YES still need to hear that we are displeased. They need to know they may be facing election loss if they do this.
  • Republican Senators who are undecided or on the fence NEED to know how their constituents feel about this issue. The more calls, the more likely we can sway them to vote NO.

Here is the letter I wrote to Representative Mitchell today. It doesn’t highlight any particular issues, but rather my crumbling view of the GOP. Will it do any good? Maybe not, but it is cathartic for me, so I guess there’s the good.

Dear Representative Mitchell,

I was prepared today to send you my usual weekly letter listing all the issues that concern me and how I want you to vote, respond or proceed on them, which you would then ignore and continue with your own party-line agenda. But I decided to go another route today and explain a few things to you.

First, I’d like to say that I have voted for Republicans before. I tend to lean left, but have generally remained centered, giving due consideration to both a conservative and liberal view point. I have even, on occasion, taken the conservative side of an issue. I do believe that both conservatives and liberals have something to add to the discussion and compromises can be reached on many issues to better serve all Americans.

I used to believe that the Republican Party stood for family values and tradition. I believed they upheld Christian ideals and that even though I didn’t agree with 90% of what they stood for, there was still something of value there.

I no longer believe this.

This isn’t a conclusion I have come to simply because of one election. It has been progressing over years and years, though I stubbornly hung onto the hope that there was something good and benevolent left in the GOP. That hope has since been dashed. The GOP, and this includes Trump, though he is by no means the sole perpetrator, have become the villains in American politics. I know you of course don’t see it that way, but I believe you have a very narrow view of what will help America. You are focused solely on what white middle class Christian America “needs” not seeing that by raising the lesser among us, we bring all of us up.

Between cuts to healthcare funding, repealing the ACA, imposing the heinous AHCA on us, proposed cuts to everything from Medicare to NEA to PBS. Pulling out of the Paris Accord, destroying climate change data, and proceeding with the DAPL, the GOP, and especially Trump, have created lasting damage to the fabric of our society that will take generations to correct, if we are able to. They have also demonstrated ignorance concerning matters of science and hypocrisy to Christian teachings. In fact, the blatant hypocrisy displayed has caused me to question my own beliefs, because how can I possibly belong to a religion that doesn’t understand nor follow the teachings of Jesus on such a large scale? It makes me sick.

And the fact that you have stood by and not said one word while Trump spoke dangerously on the campaign trail, inciting violence that continues to plague us, or done anything about the EO Travel Ban discriminating against Muslims, or condemned his inappropriate talk about multitudes of people from the Kahns to Comey to Mueller, or spoke out against his inappropriate remarks about women just goes to show that you wish to go down with his sinking ship. You neither have the moral fortitude nor the courage to denounce this dangerous man who is damaging our country. You didn’t speak out against him during the campaign, you have done nothing about him now, and history will remember those that fought against this degradation of America’s democratic system. They will not remember those who stood quietly by and allowed the erosion of our democracy. History will not remember you, sir.

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 6-7-2017

Here is today’s letter to my representatives. Senators Stabenow and Peters received this letter as is, but Representative Mitchell received his weekly reminder that I will be sure to remind his constituents that he voted for the AHCA. Let’s hope it bites him in the ass in 2018.

Remember to check out ItsTimetoFight.com for more information and scripts. It’s where I get much of what I use. Just click on the current issues tab and then select Call List.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

First I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the ACA. It is heinous that Trump and the Republicans want to kill this bill, and cause so many Americans to suffer. Thank you for standing with what is not only morally right, but was is best for this country. Please do not support any attempts to repeal the ACA, especially through AHCA. Please work to convince some of your GOP counterparts not to support this bill. I understand that the Senate is still writing the bill, but I want to voice my opposition to any bill that will repeal the ACA, especially without replacement. And the CBO score estimating that 23 million Americans will lose their healthcare coverage is unacceptable, and the potential for state waivers will negatively affect those with pre-existing conditions.

I am extremely angry and disgusted at Trump’s shortsighted and disastrous decision to pull out of the Paris Accord. I am hopeful that so many individual citizens, corporations and local and state governments have pledged to abide by the accord regardless of Trump’s decision. Please do whatever you can to support those that chose to put the planet’s welfare ahead of Trump’s ignorance.

I ask that you do not vote for the Financial Choice Act of 2017. Many of these safeguards were put into place after the recession of 2008 and helped our economy recover.

I would like to express my supreme concern and anger over the proposed Trump budget. The cuts to entitlement programs are destructive to society, and cuts to Medicaid in particular are catastrophic to many people. I ask that you condemn the budget and oppose it any form.

I ask that you speak out against the Trump Administration’s planned attempts to rollback contraception mandate for healthcare coverage. Women’s healthcare should be considered a private matter, and contraception use is used for many areas outside of birth control. Please defend a women’s right to make their own healthcare choices.

I ask for an independent commission to be formed to investigate Trump, Kushner, Manafort, Flynn, Sessions and the rest of the Trump campaign and administration and their ties to Russia during the campaign. A special prosecutor is a good first step, but the American people deserve a full independent investigation.

Thank you for your time.

Jennifer Austin