In the wake of the results of the 2016 election, I’ve opted to write my Congresscritters (both Federal and State) with the following message.
November 22, 2016
Dear Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz, Congresswomen Granger, State Senator Hancock, and Representative Krause;
My name is Ben Plopper, and I’m writing this letter to all of you in the face of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States. As with many of my fellow Americans (the majority of the popular vote, in fact), I have grave concerns regarding the positions Mr. Trump agitated for during his campaign. As I am a life-long Democrat, I realize that I do not agree with many positions that you have championed. I additionally understand that, by the will of the Electoral College, you – as Republicans – will have the ability to achieve your policy positions with greater ease. In a normal election year, while I would have been disappointed, I would accepted that as the normal workings of Democracy; the votes are in, my side didn’t fare so well, and now it’s time to work together to find compromise where possible.
2016 is not a normal election year.
I am also incredibly proud to call myself a Texan. The diversity of this state, its friendliness, wide-open spaces, and room for all manner of races, religions, creeds, etc., has worked its way into my heart since my family moved here in 1988. Even though I’m in the political minority in this state, I still love it.
Mr. Trump’s proposed policies will absolutely hurt that wonderful array of diversity. His divisive stance on immigration flies in the face of an increasingly politically active Hispanic population (estimated to be 39%). More than 50% of the state’s population are our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and female friends, and Mr. Trump has demeaned and belittled them at every opportunity. Our friends and family who are part of the LGBTQ community are scared for their futures and lives. They are justifiably worried that their right to share in the same legal protection that I share with my wife may be taken away, and the gains that they fought and died for will be walked back. Additionally, millions of Texans have benefitted from the ACA, and by being able to worry less about the cost of healthcare, can now turn their attentions to better making Texas economically and socially competitive.
Mr. Trump’s words and actions have indicated to less desirable members of the country that bullying, discrimination, and misogyny, are acceptable. This should never be the case, and we Texans are better than that.
As such, I implore you not to rubber stamp every piece of the president-elect’s policy initiatives or political/judicial appointments merely for party unity and political expediency. Please, instead, scrutinize everything that comes from his office and determine where there may be intentional or inadvertent harm to Americans and Texans alike. If you find harmful legislation, stand up against it, for me and all of your constituents, regardless of whether we voted for you. Yes, many decisions will be made that those of us on the political left don’t agree with but, again, under normal circumstances, that’s the way the pendulum swings as power shifts. Mr. Trump, however, seems to be determined to push policies that will harm all Americans, the economy, and American business. If Texas leaders take a stand against the most odious of his policies, true American values will shine brightly from the Lone Star of this state. We will continue to attract high-tech, forward-thinking businesses, which can only bolster our state’s economy. More importantly, though, is that standing up against discrimination, bullying, misogyny, bigotry, and fear is the right thing to do.
We do not agree on many issues, but still, you represent me and others like me, as Texans. Let’s make Texas an example of positive American values.
Thank you for your time.
Benjamin A. Plopper
Senator John Cornyn
Senator Ted Cruz
Congresswomen Kay Granger
State Senator Kelly Hancock
State Representative Matt Krause