24 April 2017
Dear Senators Perdue and Isakson,
As I begin this letter several things occur to me. One is, I wonder what comment will be lifted from my many concerns by a staff person or intern so that I receive an automated reply to that particular ‘issue’ rather than to the content of the whole. Secondly, I fear my opinion doesn’t matter if I am not a member of your base. Part of me wants to tell you that I am a mother and grandmother, a senior, a pastor, and white, as if that makes my concerns more legitimate. I wonder if I add that I am also a feminist, a lesbian (NOT the same thing) and a progressive that somehow you could justify ignoring my concerns. However, for the moment, this is still a democracy and I am your constituent.
Perhaps my deepest concern is that we are moving away from being a democracy at a rapid pace. As I list the things that concern me I know I will still miss the scope and magnitude of the perils to our democracy. So here is my first question to you: are you so concerned with the political power of both your party and your elected position that you are willing to sacrifice the core tenants of our constitution? Your actions and lack of action make it hard for me to believe that you are not gleefully sacrificing our sacred principles. I say this because of your lack of concern over Russia’s interference with our election process. I say this because you are willing to kowtow to a dangerous and incompetent president. I say this because of your willingness to govern for the entitled on the backs of the disenfranchised.
Why is it that women, children, people of color, the elderly, the poor, the LGBT community, and others too varied to name suffer so that the richest among us and get richer? Why has industry been given permission to pollute our streams and rivers? All the agencies designed to protect us are being gutted. Shall I name a few? The EPA and the State Department come to mind, and our education system has been hijacked by the Incompetent. You know as sure as your heart beats that a vibrant democracy depends on a well-educated public. Is that what you are going for now? An easily led people? We are no longer the world leader in science and technology – or if we are it won’t be for long. Objective facts no longer factor in to determining policy. Science is dismissed in favor of faith statements. And why is it that you assume science exists in opposition to faith? Or are you pandering to the lowest common denominator? It is beyond my ability to comprehend.
I really want to know why it feels okay to reduce our access to healthcare. I want to know why a living wage is an anathema to you. I want to know if you are okay with this nation becoming an authoritarian kleptocracy. If you aren’t okay with it, what are you going to do about it? And if you are, how do you live with yourself?
Our democracy is one of the greatest social experiments ever conceived but I don’t recognize it any more. Do you?
The Reverend Connie L. Tuttle