An Open Letter to My Senator, Kyrsten Sinema

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5 mins read

From a seriously exhausted and flabbergasted liberal who voted for you…

Dear Senator Sinema,

Let me get straight to the point and tell you — without offense — that it is both naive and unconscionable to state that the way to fix “a system that’s not working effectively … is to change your behavior.”

Why so? Well, because having “a system that’s not working effectively” prevents you, Senator, from doing what is right for the people. The system prevents you from passing legislation that serves the people, legislation that would allow the people to secure freedom, democracy, justice, economic opportunity, safety, and — among many other things — dignity.

Senator, you can’t fix a system that does not work by changing your behavior. Because changing your behavior means abandoning your efforts to do what is right. You surrender to the system, and instead of doing what is right for the people, you change your behavior, from trying to pass legislation that serves the people to passing other legislation that does not serve the people. And whenever those other efforts succeed, you proudly pretend to yourself that changing your behavior has fixed the system.

It has not. 

Because you have failed to do what is right for the people. You can’t fix a system that is not working by refusing to challenge that system and then pretending that it is now fixed. You are merely creating the illusion of fixing the system.

But let us take a step back, Senator. Your premise that the system does not work effectively is actually false. The system works just fine — for 40 years it has allowed the Republican Party to block and reverse Democratic legislation that would have served the people. 

The legislative dysfunction of Congress is not caused by a system that does not work effectively. It is caused by a Republican Party that is not interested in doing what is right for the people. While the Democrats are working hard to serve the people, the Republicans are serving only the privileged few, large corporations, and special interests. And that is the reason Democrats and Republicans in Congress often fail to find common ground. It is not because the system does not work; it is because there is no common ground.

For 40 years, the Republican Party has been pushing legislation that benefits only the privileged few, large corporations, and special interests — with great success. The Republican Party has been strengthening the privilege of those who are already privileged and deepening the economic exploitation of those who are already struggling to make ends meet. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, has tried to pass legislation to serve all the people — and has mostly failed. Not because the system does not work. The Democrats have failed because the Republicans have no interest in doing what is right for the people and have blocked efforts by the Democrats, using, among other tactics, the filibuster.

Today, you Senator, together with other Democratic senators, can change that. Today you have the power to do what is right for the people. To pass legislation that serves all the people, legislation that will ensure freedom, democracy, justice, economic opportunity, safety, and dignity for all the people. The Republican Party only cares about the privileged few, large corporations, and special interests; you and the other Democratic senators care about the people. And today you have the power to make a difference for the people.

Please don’t let this opportunity pass. It may not present itself again any time soon — if ever.

Sincerely,
Hans K. Buhrer

Photo by Dhru J on Unsplash


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