Dear Congressman Lewis,
You are, I am proud to say, my representative in Congress. I live in your district and have run into you on several occasions in the area.
We have met several times professionally as well, though you may not remember me specifically. I served on the Board of Directors of (a major national organization) and was Chairman of its Advocacy and Public Policy Committee when, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, we sought and obtained passage of a billion dollar Relief Fund Act — seeking compassionate compensation for failures of the FDA to properly oversee the safety of certain pharmaceuticals. You were an early and eager supporter for whom I will always have an abiding respect.
I write sadly to you today and want to let you know that I support you and your causes, but I will be sitting out this November’s election. It is my own personal protest toward the president for whom I held out the greatest anticipation of greatness and “hope.” He has failed and betrayed millions of citizens like me today.
Not only am I (politically involved), I am also a gay citizen. As you are no doubt aware, the president will appeal a federal judge’s decision regarding the constitutionality of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).
Though I am too old and have no desire to serve in the military, to me this is not a military issue but a civil rights issue, and the president (whom I have supported) has chosen to deny me full civil rights — similar civil rights for which you had to fight and demand (and suffer) for him to even become president.
I have no enthusiasm to participate any longer in our democratic process. He has proven it does no good… and it certainly can do no harm to sit out.
Not only will I fail you, I will also fail Roy Barnes as he seeks to become Georgia’s Democratic governor once again. I apologize. Yet, I have no other means to impact a protest to our president.
Below my signature I have pasted my email letter to Mr. Obama for your information.
I wish you well, sir
Dear Mr. President,
I wrote your office the other day when the DADT policy of discrimination was ruled unconstitutional. I asked you not to appeal and asked what you would expect me to do during this election should you choose for your administration to appeal.
Well, now that you have decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, here is what I will do: nothing… I will stay home and not vote for anyone or anything this November.
I will not turn out to vote for my friend, Congressman John Lewis, and I will not turn out to help elect Roy Barnes Governor of Georgia — which is the first chance we Democrats have had to take back the Georgia governor’s office since the republican ascension.
I will not advocate for you any further, sign any petitions to support your efforts, nor debate personal and professional friends who do not support your administration or our progressive causes. In short, as you are done with me, I am done with you.
You have failed your presidency and likely will be a one term president. You most certainly will accomplish nothing once the horrid republicans take control of congress this year.
You built hope within many races, ethnicities, age groups, income classes, sexual persuasions, and just plain good citizens and turned it to disappointment and a sense of betrayal.
You have personally hurt me and millions of others and reinforced that, in fact, I do not have full citizenship in my native country. I am less. I am less than you. I am less than those who struggled in the 60’s civil rights movement and earned what should have always been theirs.
I thought only republicans could make me feel this way and deny me full rights of citizenship. I was wrong.