Template for a letter to your family re: Steve Bannon
by Anne Moore
I did a thing this morning that I’ve never done before in my whole life–opened up a line of political dialogue with my socially conservative family. I saw the news about Bannon, and I am FUCKING TERRIFIED. The climate-change denying EPA guy Myron Ebell is awful, Ben Carson is the worst, Newt Gingrich is a human trash fire, etc etc. But Reagan and Bush made terrible appointments like this and we made it through that–we can still move forward with established grassroots strategies and try to stave off our own desctruction. But Steve Bannon is professionally hateful, and his energy is both contaigous and deeply dangerous.
So I’m calling my Senators and Representatives later today, and I composed the letter below to my family. I’m scared to have done it, but I have to do something. I put in bold the parts that only apply to me–replace them with instances from your own life. Or (even better) rewrite the whole thing in your own voice. I looked up all the contact info for the senators and reps for my family in the hope that this would make them actually take action–and I think it’s a good way to signal to them how serious I am. Feel free to cut and paste.
I’m writing with a political plea, which I normally wouldn’t do, but I’m really scared. In just the last week, I’ve already heard–from people I know personally–about moments of aggression and intimidation, even in deep blue places like Massachusetts and Maryland. At Winchester High School (the next town over from ours) on Thursday, a white student walked into the classroom of his Indian-American science teacher 20 minutes late with a “Make America Great Again” baseball hat on, wrapped in a flag, blaring music which he refused to turn off. A group of white male students from Babson College in Wellesley drove in a pickup truck to Wellesley College, where they verbally harassed a group of black students. At Ariel’s cousin’s son’s middle school in Bethesda, the bathroom was covered in swastika graffiti on Wednesday morning. And those aren’t even among the more than 300 hate crimes reported since Tuesday
As a gay mom with two young kids, I’m scared. As a woman, I’m scared. As a friend to Muslims and African Americans and immigrants, I’m scared.
I know that people are saying that we should give Trump a chance, and that sounds like a nice idea, but the moment (of many) that gives me the most pause is his appointment of Steve Bannon of Breitbart News to his cabinet. This guy has made a career out of hate-mongering, and if he is in a position of real power, the consequences would be dire. The next time something like the tragedy at San Bernadino happens, things will get very bad for a lot of innocent people in this country really quickly.
I’m willing to buckle down and try to work with or around economic and policy decisions I disagree with–as a person with a lot of opinions, I’m used to doing that. I’m hoping that I’m wrong about Trump, and that the promises of moderation he’s making now will pan out. But Bannon will bring out the very worst in Donald Trump, and in the country, and I will do whatever I can to try to stop his appointment.
I’m calling my representative and Senators to plea with them to do whatever they can to stop Bannon’s appointment. I’ve made a list below of contact information for your Representatives and Senators. I’ve actually never called my representative before–too afraid of conflict, I guess–but I’m motivated to action by what I’ve seen so far, and what I anticipate is down the line. Please, please call–especially those of you in states that went for Trump. ESPECIALLY those of you in Texas. Your representatives need to know that the vitriol which was so central to his campaign cannot be normalized in our culture. You can support Trump’s policies without co-signing open hatred. Tell them you’re voting, tell them you’ll remember next cycle–and especially tell them if you voted for Trump. Politicians are cynical, I know, and calling the office directly is actually a way to get them to pay attention. If you can convince your friends to do the same, even better.
Thanks for listening. I’m happy to talk about this more if you want. I’m sending you this letter because I love you and I know that you want what’s best for me and my family.
Lots of love,