Open Letter to Senators McCain, Flake

I have not written a blog entry since Donald Trump won the election last week. That’s not exactly true. I’ve written a couple times, but haven’t pressed send. I simply don’t seem to know exactly what to say.


But then Trump chose Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, and my silence had to come to an end. It was one thing when Trump chose Bannon to run his campaign, which was based on a lot of fear and hateful rhetoric. I was willing to accept the possibility that Trump was saying what he felt would get him elected.

But to have the head of Breitbart, which has become the mouthpiece of the “alt right” movement, as the president’s main policy advisor is just a step too far for me. I wrote my Arizona senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, today. You may feel free to use parts of this letter if you choose to write your senators, though I would ask you to please put some thought into personalizing these letters. These are people are we writing, and they deserve our respect and, if we really expect them to respond to our concerns, we should take the time to write them personally.


Dear Senator McCain,

Congratulations on your recent re-election to the United States Senate. While I am not a Republican, I have always considered you to be a reasonable man and someone who, as a public servant, has done what you felt was right for the people of Arizona.

I am writing today to ask you to consider using your voice in the name of what is good and just and fair. I recognize before I even sent this that you have just won re-election and it may not be politically expedient for you to speak up here, but I believe this is extremely important and I hope you will consider doing so.

I am extremely concerned about President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. While I am well aware that he may do as he wishes, the choice of a man who has helped give voice to the “alt right” movement worries me more than anything that has ever happened in U.S. politics.

According to Andrew Anglin, editor of The Daily Stormer and a major player in the “alt right”, the concept behind the movement is “that Whites are undergoing an extermination, via mass immigration into White countries which was enabled by a corrosive liberal ideology of White self-hatred, and that the Jews are at the center of this agenda.”

I think we deserve the right to know whether the president’s new right-hand man agrees with this. I think we need to know, in fact, whether the president’s choice of Bannon is a tacit sign of agreement with this belief.

If I see a bright spot in the election of Donald Trump, it is the opportunity for reasonable Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to band together against the hateful messages that Trump used to get elected. I felt strongly that it was important to take a “wait-and-see” approach to his presidency, and it saddens me so much that he has so quickly chosen to give so much power to a person with such close ties to a hate group. We may not agree on much in this country, but it would be my hope that we can mostly agree that potential agents of White Nationalism should not have an official place in The White House.

I would really appreciate hearing back from you about where you stand on the announcement about Bannon, and whether you plan to speak out against the normalizing of an angry, Far Right movement such as the Alternative Right.

Bill Konigsberg