An open letter to Sen. Josh Hawley

Ian Feld, Editor

Dear Senator Hawley,

Have you had enough yet? 

When will you?

Today, I am very ashamed to be your constituent. I am ashamed to be an American and a Missourian. I have been ashamed for much of the last four years, but the events of Jan. 6 have escalated that shame to new levels. 

Where is your shame, Senator?

How spineless are you, to be able to turn the other way when your actions are so clearly responsible for a pathetic attack on American democracy? How ignorant are you, when your actions themselves are an attack on democracy? How selfish are you, to let your personal agenda take precedence over an unprecedented attempt at uprooting the very system that gave you your power?

There are a few reasons why I am proud to be American. The people around me are good, decent people, who strive to make America a better place for future generations, who—despite standing in the face of adversity—persist in selflessness and service. I am proud of people like Stacey Abrams, who—though defeated in an election that she deemed unfair—dedicated every ounce of her strength to enrolling hundreds of thousands of Georgians to vote in 2020 and the subsequent runoff in 2021. I am proud of people like Sen. Mitt Romney, who—though I disagree with him on a political level—respects his oath of office and does what is right for American democracy, not himself.

And then, there are many reasons why I am disgusted to be an American. Today, you embody those reasons. I am disgusted that you undermined and continue to undermine our electoral system for your own interests. I am appalled that you cannot take fault for the attempted coup that you helped legitimize. I am sickened by the lack of empathy you display toward your fellow Americans, to whom you personally and thoughtlessly deceive, demean, and screw over. 

You, Senator, are liable for your actions. You are responsible for inflaming a crowd of thousands to carry out the most hopeless act of treason on American democracy. You are reprehensible for your refusal to admit that the people—your very constituents—declare the winner of elections. You are hypocritical for your repudiation of darker-complexioned first amendment followers against your endorsement of a disgraceful band of uncontested bigotry. Do not idle in your senate chair and think that your actions have been lost on the people who elected you. You have dug your reputation a grave, and you cannot dig yourself out.

True patriotism is honesty and bravery. True patriotism is putting your country first. True patriotism is following what you know is right for your country and for your children, not for your future campaigns. True American patriotism is accepting the fact that you can be wrong, not bludgeoning through reality like an ingrate toddler. It is stepping down from your position of harm and assuming the platform of responsibility that you were elected to lead in. Today, you have proved your constituents and your country wrong. Today, you have committed a disservice.

I am a proud Missourian, and I have been my entire life, but today, you make me irate when I see “(MO)” next to your name in the news, or hear “Missouri senator” before it is spat out on television. You make me incandescent at your egregious and selfish action. Today, I am not a proud Missourian. Today, I hate that you represent me.

You, Senator, are a condemnation of Americanism. You are a toxic stain on the fabric of American democracy. Today, you are everything that I despise about this country. Today—and for the rest of your term—you deserve every ounce of degradation that you receive, and every sideways look from your fellow members of congress that you endanger and degrade. You deserve expulsion from our government, but knowing that such a resolution is as improbable as your resignation, I offer you this thought:

Do not rest your re-election hopes on your constituents, because today, you have personally disgraced each and every one of them. Do not forget your sins, because in 2024, I will not. In 2024, when your seat is up for the first time, I will not let my fellow Missourians forget how poorly you have represented them and the constitution. Your actions will be the only legacy that you leave behind, and today, you leave nothing but shame. You are nothing without your title, Senator, and I hope you understand the grave injustice you have committed.

I have had more than enough. 



Ian Feld