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What To Do?

December 8, 2016

As I was thinking about the Lakoff page in draft, and family values, the author shared parts of this email from daughter K (whom you will remember, dear reader, from her insightful letters in support of Hillary):

Family:

 This past weekend I sent the below email to our state’s two senators (and I’ll send it to my congressional rep as soon as her new office has a website for access).

 Now is the time to let our reps know that although we’ve always voted for them in the past, we will not hesitate to sit out the next election if they do not oppose Trump at every turn. 

 Please write this week to your senators (and to your congressional rep soon).  Just a couple of sentences is fine.  Tell them that you will withhold your support for the election or reelection of any Democrat who fails right now, and in the months ahead, to vocally oppose the Trump agenda and actively investigate all corruption in his administration. 

 (Feel free to lift any passages from my email below.)

 It’s easy to do, and only takes a few minutes.

 See everyone on the 24th.

 Love,

 * * *

Dear Senator:

 I am a 53 year-old woman and a resident of Seattle, Washington.  I am also a lifelong Democrat, one who considers her beliefs and interests to lie within the progressive wing of the party.

 I have always voted for Democrats, and always defended the party’s positions and candidates.  This year, 2016, while supporting Bernie Sanders’ platform and politics, I backed Hillary Clinton from the start.  I believed that the party and the country stood the best chance of moving a progressive platform by electing a strong, experienced woman into office, and then pressing progressive issues hard from the ground.

That said, I am writing to my representatives today to say that I will not hesitate to sit out an election in the future if they do not now — and in the coming years — fight the agenda of the Donald Trump administration.  

 I will refuse to vote for any of my current, incumbent representatives if I do not see from them a vocal, principled position, one that pushes back against the Trump administration while pushing forward the interests of the popular majority that voted for Hillary Clinton.

To be specific, I want my representatives TO OPPOSE, at a minimum:

 Trump’s many conflicts of interest;

 Trump’s cronyism and corruption;

Trump’s appointment of individuals at all levels who will further an agenda of economic and racial inequality, and environmental injustice;

the targeting and scapegoating of immigrants, and the language of bias and hate against Muslims, African Americans, and women;

any weakening of the country’s Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security programs;

the nomination and appointment of Supreme Court justices (and all federal judges) who will further entrench a conservative interpretation of the Constitution and laws of this country; and

Trump’s inclination toward belligerent, bellicose threats to other countries and alliances, and his weakening of international diplomatic efforts.

And I want my representatives TO SUPPORT at a minimum:

an insistence on the release of Trump’s tax returns from the past ten years;

investigations into Trump’s conflicts of interest;

all international efforts to avoid war and further diplomacy;

all international efforts to combat global warming;

the aggressive pursuit and development of a national energy infrastructure founded on environmental sustainability;

economic policies that build wealth from the bottom, in our local and state economies (I also support reforms to multilateral trade agreements that would both preserve the sovereignty of elected democratic governments over the interests of multinational corporations, and protect labor and environmental rights);

tax reform that redistributes wealth from its concentration at the very top;

national infrastructure development as a national workfare program, with the establishment of a national infrastructure bank and planning council;

immigration reform with an emphasis on a path to citizenship;

women’s reproductive rights;

efforts to protect voting rights and build an ever broader franchise; and

a strengthening of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and a movement toward a single payer, national healthcare plan.

I will be sending this email to my friends and family.  I will encourage them to contact their representatives as well.  

I will ask them to stress that we will not support our current Democratic representatives in future elections if now, and moving forward through the coming months, they do not stand and speak in opposition to Donald Trump, do not stand and speak in favor of all that we as Democrats and progressives maintain as our values and interests. 

In closing, it is not possible to overstate the peril in which we as a national and an international community find ourselves as 2016 draws to an end.  The very future of this planet as a safe, viable home for our own lives and those of future generations is truly at stake.  

Thank you very sincerely,

Sounds like she’s about as pissed off as I am.

[Update 12-9:  This forthcoming book looks promising:  What We Do Now.]

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