Dear Congressman Ryan,
I am a woman, 55 yrs old, a mother and grandmother, an educator, an American citizen and for the first time in my life I am now ready and excited to participate in the political process of our nation’s governance. I am ready because I have learned some things about the impact of my choices and, now, have more understanding about myself. The excitement in me grows as I dialogue with others who are choosing to pay attention and get involved, and I find someone like you in our nation’s current political world, who is, from my perspective, an inspiring representative and very promising leader.
As a young adult, like many other people, I thought the machine of politics and government too big, too entrenched, and exclusive for someone like me to effect any change. I received the message growing up, in a conservative, upper middle-class family, that politics, especially leadership, was “a man’s world.” Having already been taught within my family and our culture to be subservient to men, I told myself I was powerless to do anything about it and put my attention elsewhere, distracting myself with entertainment and consumerism. I allowed these limiting thoughts to silence my voice and feed my illusion of powerlessness. I became complacent in my political engagement, cynical, though as I’ve aged, I’ve never had any shortage of mostly uninformed thoughts, opinions and judgments about the decisions being made and the actions of people in government. Just as everyone I know has thoughts, opinions and judgments, still only a handful are truly informed and engaged in the political process, many do not vote, some simply dutifully vote as their family tradition dictates without any knowledge about who they are voting for. In my experience, all of us silent voices carry anger about the feeling of powerlessness.
In the last couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to open to understanding with more clarity the things that are happening in our country, and globally, and my role in it all. I can see clearly that my feeling of powerlessness has been self-imposed by my choice to silence my voice and not speak my truth. Not only has it served to keep me dis-empowered, my silence supports, all the more, those issues in which I’d like to see some change. I see with more clarity how my complacency, anger and judgment towards government and corporations has helped shape the world I’m living in, everything I see in the news and our current administration, led by our President, Donald J Trump. With this understanding, I am more informed and empowered to responsibly represent myself in our Democracy.
To start, I’d like to thank Mr. Trump for what he has brought to the White House. He is doing a perfect job of representing and showcasing, in a very “big” way, many of the real issues that continue to fracture our country today. The degradation and abuse of women, racism, bigotry, bullying, lying (making “false or misleading statements,”) corruption and the quest for personal gain at any cost, are not new in our world. Is there a woman on the planet that has not experienced degradation or abuse in some form in her lifetime? And find a cause for war anywhere that has not had elements of racism, bigotry, and bullying? While increasingly, the business world gives us wonderful examples of how corruption and the quest for personal gain at any cost have been at the root of our economy.
What has shaken many of us, in this country, is the degree to which these issues and the values that support them have been brought home to bear so clearly in the personal life history, speech and behavior of our highest and most public official. Greed, deception, pay-offs, the acquisition of wealth and power, which have ruled this country behind closed doors, are now being proudly paraded into the White House and role of the President as acceptable behavior in this “business venture” called Government. Trump has not drained, but illuminated the swamp!
I thank you, Donald, for this opportunity! You’ve helped create the possibility for all of us to begin having honest dialogue with more clarity about what has been going on in our country and government, where we’re heading should we chose to continue down this path and what would it take to “make America great again. “ So, again, President Trump, thank you! I choose to take this opportunity and truly become a citizen of this country and participate in defining its laws and values and its governance and as was the original intention behind our Democracy. It’s time for me to take responsibility for what my ancestors created and what I will leave the children of this World. I am now ready to take back my voice and use it in truthful dialogue, with anyone who chooses to participate, about what it would take to create the kind of country where we are free to enjoy the gifts of this world, explore our creativity, evolve and teach our children to do the same.
This is where you come in, Congressman Ryan, and the real reason for my letter. I have been following you for the past couple of years on the Internet, through Facebook, YouTube, and a few national news agencies. What I’ve perceived in you are the things I’d like to see in anyone requesting to be my representative, locally, state-wide, nationally or inter-nationally. Your honesty, integrity, willingness to speak your truth in the face of great opposition and genuine interest in hearing from all voices are what first inspired me to pay more attention. I decided to learn more about who you are and your thoughts on the issues in order to make a more informed decision about whether or not to support Team Ryan.
You understand that it is the responsibility of all adults to teach our children and young people how to live in this world, become empowered citizens who understand the consequences of their choices. A genuine interest in dialoguing with our young people, providing opportunities for them, and support for education, are keys to the future. You’ve shown me that you share these values by introducing legislation that helps to educate and engage our young people in healthy lifestyle choices, create pathways to a good education for all, regardless of their economic background, and provide opportunities for young people to enter the work force, giving them the opportunity to take responsibility for their lives, contributing to the building of our nation and world.
Another idea I’ve heard you talk about, to help rebuild our nation, is to keep jobs in America and produce as much as we can in this country. I agree wholeheartedly! How does it serve us, or anyone on the planet, to be shipping resources and goods all over the world as we do, using huge amounts of fuel that negatively impact our environment, just to have things we could be producing right here at home. Now, I can see that when I’ve looked at the cost of the goods I’ve been buying, I haven’t been taking into consideration the hidden costs, to all life on the planet, in their production and distribution. Producing goods here at home would create jobs for our citizens and require us to have a more sustainable relationship with the maintenance and use of our resources.
As I continue to dialogue with you and anyone else interested about the issues we are currently experiencing in our country, I am excited about discovering non-partisan forums where we can discuss our common values and learn, together, what is needed to make this nation great again. I look forward to the Mid-term Elections this year, the General Election in 2020, and the opportunity to truly create a government for the people, by the people.