Dear Dr. Price,
I assume this is being read by a hard-working staffer who will categorize it to receive a specific boiler-plate response. To help that process, here’s a summary: I’m an ex-Republican who is outraged by what the far right has done to the party, a constituent who knows that the debt ceiling is a sham issue, and an American who believes that over forty unsuccessful attempts to reverse a single piece legislation seems, well, a little pathetic. Sadly, not as pathetic as a voter who spends a couple of hours crafting a letter knowing that it will do no absolutely no good.
For about thirty years, I consistently voted Republican; the first vote I ever cast was for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I have been extremely fortunate; I don’t apologize for being part of the infamous “1%”. I pay taxes from the very top bracket. I am a libertarian and a fiscal conservative. I am now nearly embarrassed to admit that I was a member of the Republican Party. Its rhetoric has become so toxic, some of its positions so incongruous, that I struggle to find much common ground with the party to which I once proudly belonged.
I can't know, but I desperately want to believe, that you know the difference between reining in spending and refusing to pay the bills. If you want to pass a balanced budget, by all means go ahead. But refusing to pay bills we’ve already accrued is irresponsible. Pretending that it’s fiscal discipline is disingenuous. Threatening to do so for partisan ends is unforgivable.
I understand that you oppose President Obama's initiatives; I’m not crazy about some of them myself. But like you, he was elected by the majority of his constituents. The Republican obsession with reversing the Affordable Care Act is perplexing. Five years ago, the Republicans had many opportunities to address a broken healthcare system. Instead of presenting an alternative or negotiating with the opposition to find a compromise, they tried to kill the legislation; betting on an all-or-nothing outcome. Once the bill passed through the constitutional process, Republicans have spent the intervening years acting like petulant children who don't accept that they can't always get their way. You had your chance and you lost. Move on; there are other important issues.
I know that there is nothing I can say that will make any difference. As an independent in your district, my vote is moot. There is no chance that I can have any effect on policy. Even if you had a moderate impulse (and there have been occasional signs), the right wing either in your district or in your party would undoubtedly punish you mercilessly if you showed it too often. It’s just the reality of the size of your constituency, but I think it is a shame that writing a feckless letter on a Sunday afternoon is the full extent of my influence as an American voter.