Sometimes they do answer…..

And when they do, it won’t hurt to take it one step further. I initially signed a petition to Senators Cruz and Cornyn, as well as to Congressman Ratcliffe, asking them to work towards re-opening the parts of the federal government affected by the shutdown.

Senator Cornyn’s office sent a reply which was more than the usual brush-off. The language used, however, rubbed me the wrong way because it was typically glossing over the salient points that: (1) real people are affected by the shutdown, not just “the economy” and (2) the wall is not synonymous with border security, as Trump would have it. Democrats are in favor of border security, not Trump’s wall.

This is what I sent. I hope it helps if you are thinking of engaging directly with our dear leaders.

Dear Senator Cornyn,

I very much appreciate your response to my email about the government shutdown. I do, however, want to take issue with the language used in that response:

 – “further uncertainty and instability in the economy”. Every American should be worried about the damage to the economy. This White House’s decision process and its disregard for the branch of government YOU belong to might end up creating misgivings abroad as to the health of the US economy. I wish, however, that you had also considered the damage done on the individual scale. The economy will probably recover faster than the individual families faced with having to make difficult choices about which bills to pay. It is my hope that you, Senator Cornyn, do not share the callous disregard for everyday Americans that the Trump administration exemplifies so well.

 – “disagreements over funding levels for important border security priorities, resulting in a partial federal government shutdown”. Let us not be coy. The disagreements are over the creation of a wall that most Americans are opposed to for good reason. Walls can be breached. The Rio Grande is a natural resource and its banks harbor delicate ecosystems that will be endangered by building a physical barrier. Lawsuits over the use of eminent domain will tie the project in the courts for years. Building a physical barrier along the southern border does not stop visa overstays or drugs coming in through the mail (Chinese fentanyl) or legal ports of entry (other drugs in trucks and boats). A wall between the US and all of Central and South America sends a message to the world that a new US isolationism is built on fearmongering and an appeal to basic racism. Are Norwegians still welcome?

The partial federal shutdown is a face-saving exercise for Mr. Trump, as well as an effort to cling to his shrinking base of support. It is my fervent hope that you will show the courage needed to stop the shutdown while negotiations over other forms of security for the border are being considered.


Marie-Anne Schiffmann

Rockwall, TX

Disclaimer: these are my personal views, I am alone responsible for any mistakes or improprieties. I am stubborn and think I am most often right! Feel free to think otherwise and occasionally tell me so…..

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