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