Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What I'm Doing - Part Two

I wrote this missive to my Congresswoman:
Dear Rep. McSally,
Hatred, division, and vengeance have no place in civil discourse.
Can you stand up for women, and our right not to be groped?
Can you stand up for the First Amendment, and the right of cast members to speak truth to power:
You took on the Air Force and won; I admired that.  Are you brave enough to speak out for others, too?
I await your response.  Mr. Trump's behavior is often inappropriate - will you call him on it?

I took my letter (handwritten, on my embossed stationary) to a Pantsuit Nation Tucson Meet Up 
on the street in front of Rep. McSally's office.  
There we stood, men and women of all ages and descriptions,
holding signs and smiling at the cars passing us by.
I joined them after thanking the Tucson Police for their presence in the parking lot nearby; they were looking out for us and that made me feel marginally safer.  Drivers slowed to read the words.  The sky was overcast but kept the raindrops at bay.  It didn't feel as if anything would change, but it felt so good to vent.

When my hip told me it was time to sit down, I made my way up to the 5th floor and the Congresswoman's office.  There, I sat down with  CJ Karamargin, her District Director.  I met him when he was still working with Gabby Giffords; I teased him about moving to the dark side as we walked to a big table in what I think was Rep. McSally's personal office.  He said It's not that dark.  

He called his current boss a moderate Republican, which, in this day and age, is probably true.  He listened, we laughed, and he promised to send me the Facebook post or maybe he said it was a Twitter Tweet which Rep. McSally posted after the Access Hollywood video was made public.  He promised that she was offended and he was sorry that I had missed the news.  We discussed there is too much to read and not enough time but I was able to make the point that I knew where Jeff Flake and John McCain stood but I had no idea what my third voice in Washington said.  

She's all I have.  She needs to make a statement that I can show my granddaughter.  Rep. McSally took on the Air Force and won (reversing their policy that women deployed in the Middle East must cover their heads when leaving the base) and now I need her to stand up for me, and my girls.

Again, he assured me that the post was out there.  I gave him my email address and, sure enough, there she was, calling the candidate's behavior disgusting  and appalling.  

I left the office and drove to Prince Elementary School to warm the cockles of my heart.  All this political action left me feeling empty inside.  I think it is possible to say that the Democratic candidate's policies are flawed, the Republican candidate's policies are more reflective of my own views, and the Republican candidate's behavior is reprehensible and cannot be condoned or supported.

Of course, that's just me.  Rep. McSally never endorsed or denounced Mr. Trump.  She decided that it was okay to be silent on the subject.  She didn't think I needed to know, but I did.  She's good for Southern Arizona, but I couldn't cast a vote for her without knowing.

It's not my fault if I can't figure out where my elected representative stands; it's on her shoulders to inform me.  I pay attention to what is presented.  She's sent mailers reminding me to vote.  She's posted and mailed pictures of herself meeting with constituents and holding hearings on Women in the Workplace.  She's wondered about border security.  All these things are well and good, but they don't address the immediate concerns facing our nation right now. 

Call it alt-right or white supremacist or nationalist or kakistocracy, there is business taking place in the corridors of government which demands, at the very least, a comment from a moderate Republican woman who speaks for me in Congress.

She's been re-elected.  Perhaps now she will speak so that I can hear her?  There's not much standing between me and the people in power.  I am afraid and I need reassurance.  If a moderate Republican can look at Steve Bannon and Lt Gen Mike Flynn and still stay silent, then I'm even more terrified.  

My plan was to call the local offices of the members of the House Oversight Committee to ask them to investigate the many conflicts of interest (meeting with business partners from Mumbai as the latest example) our President-elect is creating.  I'm exhausted and wrung out.  I'll make those calls tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently conflict of interest laws do not apply to the President. They apply to every other federal employee, but not him. Here's an article, I'm assuming it's true.


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