A Letter to the President

6 mins read
Benjamin Franklin

Mr. President,

Today we live in a nation that is under attack, not from outside forces but from within. Politicians are more concerned with keeping their jobs than doing their jobs, as evidenced by the massive corruption that is visible to anyone who views politics today with a clear lens untarnished by the colors blue or red.

Our leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, turn a blind eye to the truth in their rush to gaslight their respective bases. Because of their desire for power over people and a willingness to spread misinformation, people now choose to ignore their common sense to “own” the other side.

During the 2016 election, then-candidate Donald Trump told his base that he could only lose if the election were stolen from him; this led to the Big Lie as originated by Trump, which went undenied by his party. Instead, they chose to double down, supporting numerous lawsuits under the guise of “finding out the truth” about the election. The truth is that they could not give voice out of fear of Donald Trump supporting a primary challenger, even had they wished to do so. Their cowardice led them to choose to keep their jobs

Rather than gracefully accepting defeat, former President Trump chose to share a quote from George Orwell’s 1984 with his followers. It was his final, most essential command: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

The proles, content in their ignorance, followed this command. They instead chose to believe that the Herculean task of coordinating hundreds of election officials, judges, and computer programmers was simple, that the only way “Big Brother” could lose was through bamboo ballots shipped in overnight from Hong Kong, Italy changing votes via satellite, and massive voter fraud. Rather than accepting that record voter turnout (on both sides), Trump’s poor handling of the economy, the weaponization of the response to Covid 19, and numerous scandals could be the reason he lost. Never mind the fact that every audit, lawsuit, and even Trump’s own attorney general stated that the election had been fair and secure, free from massive fraud, nor that not one of these “perpetrators” has yet to come forward and admit the deed.

In turn, this led us directly to the events of January 6, 2021, when the unthinkable occurred: an insurrection at our nation’s capital with people believing the lie stirred into “trial by combat” and told, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” They stormed into Congress intent on keeping their leader in power, kidnapping if not outright killing members, and building a gallows while chanting to kill the vice president for his sin of not overturning the election.

Today numerous bills are passing through state legislatures to not only satiate the believers of the Big Lie but to undermine our democratic process by nullifying and suppressing the vote. Yet that is not, as we are told by Democratic leadership, the greatest threat to democracy our nation has ever faced. Instead, the biggest threat is the voter apathy and alienation that will occur if these bills were to become law. In The Federalist Papers, our founders wrote that they believed it was “essential to liberty that the government, in general, should have a common interest with the people” and they felt that a bond between the people and the representatives was “particularly essential.”

Democratic republics are not merely founded upon the people’s consent, and they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.

However, if people become disillusioned, the record high numbers we saw turnout in 2020 will quickly plummet to record lows.

If there should come a time in our future (likely 2022 if these bills pass) where the current minority party gains both chambers of Congress, two things will happen. They will not hesitate to abolish the filibuster, and they will cause wide-scale violence via their refusal to certify the 2024 presidential election should the Democratic candidate prove victorious.

To that, I say, Mr. President, now is not the time for grandiose speeches from the bully pulpit. Now is the time for action. You must, nay, it is your duty to, pressure those on the Democratic side of the aisle who steadfastly refuse to budge on either abolishing or weakening the filibuster.

The United States is a republic, Mr. President. The question posed to you is: Can we keep it?

Edward J. Smith Jr.

Schenectady, NY


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