“I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. It is a condition that comes from the lack of effective leadership either in the legislative branch or the executive branch of our government.…

I speak as briefly as possible because too much harm has already been done with irresponsible words of bitterness and selfish political opportunism. I speak as simply as possible because the issue is too great to be obscured by eloquence. I speak simply and briefly in the hope that my words will be taken to heart.…

I think that it is high time for the United States Senate and its members to do some real soul searching and to weigh our consciences as to the manner in which we are performing our duty to the people of America.…” 

– from Senator Margaret Chase Smith’s “Declaration of Conscience,” delivered on the Senate floor June 1, 1950 

Many others write to you daily about specific bills, and the anguish they are causing Americans. I am speaking from a higher moral ground.

I simply want to point out that at this moment, HR 1275, a bill that is opposed by all medical, nursing and hospital associations in America, and is likely to double the cost of premiums to the poor and elderly and throw up to 20 million people off health insurance, is actually called on the Congressional website the “World’s Greatest Health Care Plan”; that there is currently a bill to actually terminate the Department of Education and “to repeal a certain rule relating to nutritional standards in schools,” i.e. no funds for fruits, vegetables and healthy meals for children; and that there is a chilling bill being introduced supporting required genetic testing by employers, HR 1313, under the guise of being a “wellness” program. 

The current ruling party has decided that a free press is not essential to a democracy, and our language is literally being highjacked by layers of lies, tweets and distractions.  Please, look into your hearts. I know you must see that we are in a time of the gravest internal threat to our democracy since the Civil War. The majority of the American people, our young people, want a planet to live on; want to continue to move forward into a multicultural diverse world where women and men are equal and where the recognition and celebration of the truth that this is not a white world is embraced. 

As Margaret Chase Smith concluded in her “Declaration of Conscience”: 

“It is high time that we stopped thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections and started thinking patriotically as Americans about national security based on individual freedom. It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques — techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life.”

Meredith Bruskin
, Swanville