An Open Letter To Senator Elizabeth Warren

 1/31/2017


Dear Senator Warren,

As a past contributor to your campaign and to the campaigns of others whom you recommended, I write to tell you I am holding any further contributions in abeyance for now, in response to your decision to vote yes on the nomination of Ben Carson for Secretary of HUD. I contributed to Barack Obama in 2008, believing in his presentation of himself as a progressive. When he appointed Tim Geithner I realized I had been, "hoodwinked" I believe is the term of art. When, of all the awful people, Sarah Palin asked, "How's that hopey changey thing going for you now?" I winced as I knew my contributions had been a mistake. I will not make that same mistake again.

I beg you to understand that anything short of complete rejection of all Trump nominations is to make yourself complicit in the damage that these people will do once they are in office. Carson promised this and that during his hearing, but surely you realize that he is incompetent and too weak to genuinely run HUD in the Trump administration, which means that Steve Bannon et al will be calling the real shots, as low income housing subsidies become a fading memory and redlining returns, and HUD becomes a pig trough for rich bankers and developers, and makes a name for itself as yet another racist enclave in our federal public sector. You will have said yes to this damage and evil if you vote to approve Carson as Secretary of HUD. Please do not do that.

I have believed in you, in your intelligence, clarity of thought and your integrity. Please do not get sucked in to mainstream Democratic Party idiocy that you can somehow win anything from giving concessions to the Republicans or Trump. We desperately need Democratic Party leadership that can and will act on principle and RESIST (as that wonderful Greenpeace banner urged) constantly and in all possible ways.

I'm 67 years old, I came of age as we fought against the Vietnam War, as we struggled to make the gains of the civil rights movement real in desegregation of housing and schools and mortgages, as we hailed the emergence of feminism and fought to put women's rights into law even under Nixon. Now my daughter is 24 and I am proud of her active participation in taking action daily and her presence in the recent Women's March in Washington and at the Philadelphia airport this past weekend protesting the Trump anti-Muslim ban. She and her cohort are the future of social justice and progressive government in this country. Only a massive refusal to countenance the Trump regime as it moves toward fascism and pillaging of public resources for private rich people's gain, can create the groundswell of social upheaval and disorder that is necessary for the social change we must create.

If you (or any other politician) will not be fully part of that progressive movement in all of your actions, I cannot in good conscience give you any more money. Is this an unfair litmus test? I don't think so. Any vote you cast, even if only symbolic, that enables or colludes or is complicit with the evil of the Trump administration and the Republican agenda of dismantling all the social progress we achieved in my lifetime is an action for which you must be held accountable. Call it a "scorched earth" policy if you must, but there are no valid honorable alternatives.

I want to be able to continue supporting you. I deeply hope you will rethink your apparent position and once again be the strong relentless voice of opposition to the evil that we face emerging in our Federal government. Lead the Democrats to reject pusillanimous appeasement and false conciliation! (as well as rejecting the entreaties of the Party's feckless neoliberal big-money donors...) Don't fall into justifying the lesser of two evils in the name of politics or "being realistic", reject all the evils.

I'll be watching, along with all the other progressives, and praying that this time the hopey-changey thing works out for us. I'd love to contribute all I can to you and the people you recommend.

Sincerely,

Dave Britton