My name is Stacy Le Melle. I live in New York but I was born in Michigan, and over the course of my 42 years I have lived in Texas, Louisiana, Washington, DC, Virginia, Florida, and California. Because I have seen so much of America, I know my love for her is nothing abstract. I also carry the love of my ancestors - including German immigrants and enslaved Africans - who sacrificed all so their children could stand on their shoulders. Together we dream what is possible in a great country striving to live up to the ideals of its founding fathers.
I must say this up front: I am not a Republican. I've actively supported Democrats since I volunteered for the (MI) Oakland County Democrats when I was in high school. But we have one thing in common: patriotism. Our fierce desire to protect this country from threats.
On Monday, you have a critical choice to make. Please do not hand the American presidency to Donald Trump.
I could list a hundred reasons as to why I think Trump is unfit for the Oval Office. Let me instead focus on the issue of loyalty. We see how Trump cheated contractors. We see how Trump cheated Trump University students. We see how Trump cheated on his wives. We see how Trump cheats supporters by dropping campaign pledges left and right.
Now, we see how he cherishes his relationship with Vladimir Putin. How his team appears to be in constant contact with Russian agents--even after reports of Putin-led Russian hacking. How do we know that Trump's loyalty is with America? How do we know that if you give Trump the presidency, that he won't have to listen to Putin whenever Putin calls? How do we know this isn't a bloodless coup - or, at least bloodless until the first truth-tellers speak out after Inauguration Day?
Media reports tell us that Electors are being bullied to support Donald Trump. That you've suffered threats of political reprisals and worse. No matter how strong we are, threats are frightening. When our livelihoods, even our lives, seem on the line, going against the crowd feels like walking off the roof of a skyscraper. But that is what faith asks us to do, yes? To walk out, and know, that if we're acting for the greater good of our nation, that we will be caught because we acted in love.
But let's take a closer look at Team Trump's behavior. To have all the President's men (and women) come down on you because you disagree - and think about it, who can possibly agree with changeable Trump all of the time - what kind of life is that? It's one thing to be loyal to a person who is loyal in return. But look at Trump's track record. Unless you are a very rich person able to enrich Trump further, do you think he has your interests at heart? Look at how many people feel cheated by him. Unfortunately, that will also include many Republican voters who took his campaign talk seriously.
Look at how he sunk company stock with a tweet. Do you want to be at this man's mercy?
Today, Michael Sheen paraphrased Ronald Reagan when speaking to a decision to put his acting career on hold and focus on activism. I will close with the full quote:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
People close to me have told me not to write you. That I'm a dreamer to think you'll change your minds. That there's no way the Electoral College won't elect Trump.
I don't know if that's true. I do know that we all have free will. I also know that our American freedoms are in your hands. Please don't throw them away.
Thank you for reading.
Your fellow American,