I got a campaign pitch from Montana Senator Jon Tester today. No surprise, as I’d contributed money to his 2006 election, and had expected to support him in the future. But a few days ago, he voted against the DREAM Act. If you’re not familiar with that, here’s a paraphrased description from Wikipedia:
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) is a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States…This bill would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously and illegally for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning.
All the Republicans in the Senate voted against the DREAM Act. No surprise there; the GOP is the party that not only shelters racists, but institutionalizes their beliefs. Five Dems, including Tester, voted against the Act, effectively killing it. Here was my letter to him.
Dear Senator Tester,
You voted against the DREAM Act. You were one of only five Democrats to do so. By doing so, you ensured that tens of thousands of innocent young people’s lives will be ruined, and the US will be deprived of that human capital. That’s stupid and wasteful. I didn’t think you were either.
Excuses don’t cut it. And false excuses like “it’s amnesty!” are even worse. Of course it was amnesty, of a sort. But it was one in which the recipients, illegal immigrants here by no fault of their own, were earning a path to citizenship. You know, that’s exactly what we want in America. And you chose to kill these kids’ American Dream. That’s shameful.
On this one you were either a Democrat or you aligned yourself with the racists that are in charge of the Republican Party.
We know which side you’re on now. You chose to stand with the racists.
I am ashamed that I ever supported you financially and publicly. I will not do so again.
Sometimes, deciding to no longer support a politician you believed in is difficult. For example, it was painful to leave John Edwards behind, as I genuinely thought he had the best policy prescriptions in 2008, especially on my most important issue, healthcare reform.
But this breakup? This was an easy call.