We lost Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, a truly exceptional, principled and courageous woman, and even before her body cooled ruthless, unprincipled men are maneuvering for political advantage. This is how democracy dies. So I wrote my senators. I thanked Senator Murkowski for standing on principle and I emailed the following to Senator Sullivan:
As I am not naïve enough to think Senator Sullivan will ever read these words:
Dear Senate Staffer,
Thanks for taking a few minutes to thoughtfully consider the input of this Alaska constituent.
As a Senate staffer you are witnessing first-hand senators making a mockery of what was once considered “the world’s greatest deliberative body” rushing headlong as hypocrites to fill a seat just hours ago vacated by the esteemed, courageous and principled Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
While America slides headlong into the tyranny Plato warned naturally rises out of democracy, know that there is still time to abandon this path to self-destruction.
The American experiment in the form of our Constitutional Republic was designed and intended to thwart the citizens’ passions James Madison addressed in Federalist 10:
“…to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.”
Well today, rather than stem the exercise of tyrannical power, the United States Senate has become an instrument of it.
Changing course from this current path of self-destruction and moving in the direction of the common good will require both integrity and courage. And while I realize these principles are demonstrably lacking amongst elected officials, I have a big ask for you:
Please implore Senator Sullivan to stand on principles he once swore to defend and act for the common good rather than continue to submit to the self-serving will of the benefactors who have empowered him and thoughtfully act after the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
I realize this is a big ask. But hope is not lost. That you have read this message suggests you care. One person can still make a difference. I pray to God that person is you.
Scott F. Paradis
We’ll see if this too will fall on deaf ears or if our elected officials can in fact do the right thing.
Let me know if you think I’m off base.