Dear Senator Lamar Alexander

Yesterday, the senior U.S. Senator from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, sounded off about the FDA on Facebook, lamenting its failure to weigh in on the safety of e-cigarettes.  As a constituent, I posted a version of the following response as a comment on his post.  I would be daft to expect a reply there. I’m equally sure that, if I were to send a typed letter to Senator Alexander’s office, it’s more likely that my cat would be transformed into a footman and my car into a horse-drawn carriage than it is that I would receive anything other than a biased form letter typed & stamped by his staff.  So for my own satisfaction, I’m sharing my response to Senator Alexander’s complaint right here where it’s boldly conspicuous.  I’d love to know what y’all think about it.

Senator Lamar Alexander, agreed.  The FDA and many other federal regulatory agencies should do much more to stop many harmful products and practices.  It would be much easier for them to do so if they weren’t all so drastically understaffed and neutered following years of the systematic failure of Congress to fully fund their budgets, don’t you think?

In your decades as a public servant, Senator, how many times have you voted to cut the budgets of federal agencies and to decrease their regulatory authority?

And in the past 3 years alone, how many times have the Executive & Legislative branches, at the behest of the corporations and other moneyed interests who pay expensive lobbying firms to write the laws that favor them over commoners like me, taken action to reduce the effectiveness of countless federal departments and agencies?

How many conservative justices, nurtured, approved, and proffered by the Federalist Society, have you helped to elevate to lifetime appointments on the federal judiciary, justices who will spend decades working to undermine precedents extant since Theodore Roosevelt’s administration that have served to protect American citizens from the predatory practices of the wealthy, powerful, and corporations?

I thought the swamp was going to be drained under the current administration.  Can you tell me why, instead, it has only become more swollen as Trump has installed, and your Senate has approved, one wealthy corporate executive after another after another after another in Cabinet-level and agency head positions, and they in turn have worked to gut the authority and effectiveness of the agencies and departments they lead?

Sincerely,

Denny McBride

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

What do y’all think?  Is my response appropriate?  What do you think about Congress’s constant strangling of and weakening of the federal regulatory agencies and departments that are charged with protecting Americans?  Is it time for an administration that will restore their power to curtail corporate greed and punish corporate violations?

Take care, be well, and happy blogging.

Love,

Denny

Via Ragtag Daily Prompt for Tue., 11/19/19, “sound“.
Via Word of the Day Challenge for Tue., 11/19/19, “daft“.
Via Fandango’s One-Word Challenge for Tue., 11/19/19, “carriage“.
Via Your Daily Word Prompt for Tue., 11/19/19, “conspicuous“.

19 thoughts on “Dear Senator Lamar Alexander

  1. Denny, I have always admitted that I don’t “pay attention” to politics (I realize this behavior is condemned by many but it’s really about self-preservation and using my time and energy to live my life) but it filters through on so many levels even without my conscious attention to it. My gut feeling is this: there are two camps in this country; one likes the old west style of atmosphere – shoot or be shot, do whatever it takes to get what you want and be damned with everyone else, be duplicitous, game play, divide and conquer, etc. The other party wants a level playing field and some governance to keep things that way, some oversight for protection for everyone. Your letter hits the bullseye regarding the duplicitous nature of politics: the shortsightedness of the government players is ever present and it’s the average Joe and Sally who pays the price every single day while these gamers just go on about their ‘business as usual’. I don’t see an end to this and that’s why I just focus on my tiny world where I have some form of control.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself, KC! Like you, I’m too busy tending to my & my family’s needs to do anything other than occasionally write my elected representatives or rant on social media. Oh, and vote, too. I do that every chance I get. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day, and keep fighting the good fight!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh snap! That pretty much laid it all out there. The problem is that most in Congress today couldn’t give two shits about what their constituents think, want, or need. It’s only the lobbyists and the big donors who are being heard.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The corruption is so widespread, at every level, it’s hard to imagine ever having a functioning government that works for the people. The federalist society is a dangerous group that keeps the rich, not “we the people,” at the helm of our government. But at least people have become aware of their dealings. le can’t fight an enemy we don’t know. We have to raise our voices and stay loud, no matter how futile it seems.

    “the only thing necessary for evil to exist is for good people to remain silent…” ~Edmund Burke

    Great post, by the way!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Spot on Denny.

    My cynicism though feels that your words will fall on death ears. Worse than that, it is a world without sound, so that words cannot even be spoken or yet alone heard. Yes, you have used written words, so maybe, it falls on blind eyes, or in a world without light. I like the death ears metaphor better, so forgive me for mixing them up.

    The longer that Trump remains in office the worse this situation will get. I put a large share of this regulatory slippage on him because he can write rules that don’t involve Congressional approval. I suppose it is written in the laws that govern regulatory authority.

    I am waiting to hear the slam dunk evidence for Trump’s impeachment, but rest assured that Lamar and his republican buddies will not vote to convict even if he is impeached,

    A consolation in your writing is that this world still holds many people of good will like you, which you have clearly express yourself here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephie. I mailed a typed version of my response to Senator Alexander today. His staff usually responds to written letters. I have not given up hope for him yet. Although our politics differ substantially, he is an honorable man and has done a lot of good work as Tennessee’s former governor and as a longtime senator. I am hopeful that, if he is presented with the right evidence, he will vote the right way. Rest assured I’ll be writing to urge him to do so. I’ll be sure to let you know how he responds to my letter,

      Take care!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Keep it up, Denny. Alexander was gov when I lived in TN. I was a 7th grade teacher then in public schools and he did much to support education while gov. I do have high hopes for him even if he has chosen a party I have grown to disrespect lately.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Keep writing, Denny. I wrote, too, before the mid-terms and now I seem to be in alignment with my newly elected officials. (I do write sometimes though to say ‘good job’!) Before, I always got canned letters back. Sometimes even the same letter if I wrote about an issue more than once. It seemed a waste of taxpayer money. But we must keep on keeping on. Let’s all get out to vote again in November!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s a great letter, Denny. I don’t know how much we can do to be heard, but the one thing I do know is that raising awareness to influence votes at the very least can help, though how much I don’t know. Keep on writing, keep on campaigning and keep on raising awareness until our collectives voices have to power to do good.

    Like

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