Monday, January 30, 2017

My Letter to John McCain

My letter to John McCain is below. I also sent a version to Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Pat Toomey, and Mitch McConnell. I was waiting to see what would actually happen when Trump became president, hoping that he might surprise us and lead from the center. A week into his presidency, it is clear to me that he represents the greatest threat to our country since World War II. If it makes it easier to do something, please feel free to use any parts of this letter to email these same members of Congress, or write your own letter, or call Washington offices or district offices. We have to make Republican senators understand that the Trump threat transcends politics. We also have to help Democratic senators realize that we want/need for them to stand united in blocking the actions and agenda of this White House.
It is easy to submit emails to members of congress or to find office numbers. They all have forms on their websites to submit electronically as well as list their various numbers.
Dear Mr. McCain,

This letter is an appeal for your leadership in navigating what is the greatest threat to our democracy since World War II. Your leadership is required to protect America from the Trump administration and to strengthen our adherence to the foundations of our democracy. 

I am a 41-year old, middle-class professional and father of two small children. I have voted in every election since I turned 18, and in full disclosure I did not vote for Donald Trump because of his temperament, his absence of intellectual curiosity, and his disregard for human rights (from his treatment of women to this threats against religious minorities). Yet, I’ve reserved my criticism over these last two months because I wanted to see what he would actually do as President, and I hoped that he would lead from the middle of a divided country. 

Mr. Trump’s actions of the past week are terrifying. They leave me trying to figure out how I can continue to support my family while devoting my non-working hours to activism that protects our Constitution. The Trump administration is engaged in both direct and slippery-slope attacks on the Bill of Rights. The executive order limiting the entry of Muslims -- regardless of the selection of specific countries – is an open assault on the principles that our country was founded upon. It is also a “dog whistle” invitation for discrimination and physical attacks against Americans who practice the Islamic faith. The White House’s open instruction to the media to “keep its mouth shut” is not acceptable by any standard. Trojan horse cabinet members such as Jeff Sessions, Betsy Devos, Scott Pruitt, and Tom Price who will destroy and delegitimize our institutions will not improve the efficiency of our government. They will hurt people.

You have demonstrated outrage for perceived attacks on our 2nd amendment rights to bear arms and taken action to protect that constitutional right. I call on you to do the same for our first amendment rights of the freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech. This is different than a policy disagreement on an issue like immigration or health care; this is not Democrat vs. Republican. This is a winner-takes-all-struggle for our democracy and the protection of our rights vs. authoritarian and corrupt rule that discriminates based upon religion, ethnicity, gender, skin color, and socio-economic level. 

Moderate, middle-class, middle-age Americans like me are considering how and where to practice peaceful, civil disobedience to stop this hijacking of our country. You swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This is YOUR Neville Chamberlin moment. Chamberlin appeased Hitler at Munich, when Hitler could have been stopped. The time to act is now while this Trump cancer is in a fairly embryonic form of executive orders and cabinet appointments. 

I ask you to lead and to represent the values that caused you to run for public office the first time. Oppose these executive orders and vote only to confirm cabinet members who have demonstrated that they are qualified for their proposed positions and who have been proven not to have a conflict of interest. Consider history and understand that if you wait, we will lose the opportunity to decisively defeat this threat. 

I know that we share a love for this country. Protect our rights, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Thank you for your service to our country.


Ben Orbach

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