I just experienced a disconcerting realization. I was about to personalize my contribution to a petition The Union Of Concern Scientists was sending to Congress when I found suddenly that I was unable to continue. My purpose in writing was to petition for approval of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.
Mind you, I’ve sent letters to my senators and representatives many times through the years. At first I thought they might actually read and pay attention to what I said. Later I realized they would probably simply add my letter to a count of pro, con, or neutral responses. This time I was overwhelmed with the feeling that they wouldn’t bother even to do that; or, if they did, wouldn’t really care what I thought.
This is certainly true in my state, Florida, and at least in respect to Krysten Sinema it is in Arizona as well. If it’s true in enough other places as well, then that sudden feeling I experienced was appropriate. Voting no longer matters, and our democracy has already died. Oh yes, the forms remain! But the heart, soul, and spirit of democracy have dried-up and turned to dust.
I was stunned at the response of Republicans in the House to passage of the bipartisan segment of President Biden’s plan for investment in America and its people. They insisted that Republicans who had voted in favor of the bill were traitors to their own party because they had given President Biden a “win.”
You yourself voted against the bill, I know, but I never heard you say that you rejected it for reasons that suggested mere partisan game playing. I’m writing in trust and hope that you retain higher level motivations than do your colleagues in the lower chamber.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act are essential if we are to save American democracy. We’ve all read and heard small minded members of your own party insist that if all eligible Americans are allowed to vote, Republicans will never win another election. I do not believe that. I trust that you do not believe it either.
Pass these acts, sir. Make it possible for all eligible Americans to vote. Then in your own campaign make your best possible positive case for the policies and programs you believe in. Show that you trust yourself, your constituents, and democracy itself. Might make a good campaign slogan!