Nov 20, 2020

Protecting our Democracy

I believe that the overwhelming majority of people are moderates who may not always recognize our duty to stand up and be counted. But in moments like this, we must defend our Constitutional norms and uphold American trust in our democracy. This piece is based off of an email I felt compelled to send to Senate Majority Leader Shirkey and House Speaker Chatfield this afternoon.

Dear Michigan Senate Majority Leader Shirkey and House Speaker Chatfield,

We have never met, but I hope to meet you one of these days and to be able to express my deep gratitude for your role in safeguarding our democracy. You have been thrust into a historic moment. How you act today will determine a lot about our nation’s future, the integrity of American elections, and the character of the Republican Party.

I am a proud independent, as I have always feared the danger of being blinded by partisan loyalty.

I know you are facing enormous pressure to disregard the will of the people, and I hope you will be able to draw strength and courage, transcend any pressure, and honor our Constitutional norms and all regulations. While there is no doubt that President-elect Biden will take his seat in the White House come January 20th, sowing doubt in our electoral process in the interim only weakens our democracy and benefits despots and totalitarian leaders elsewhere.

As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I have observed the danger humanity faces by the nature of our inaction. The overwhelming majority of people are moderates who want to be left alone. Our natural instinct may not be to recognize our duty to stand up and be counted. But that cedes the space to those with more extreme points of view who have narrow selfish goals and will stop at nothing to achieve them. This can cause enormous harm to society.

That is the reason I am writing to you today. For you to know there are countless hundreds of millions of citizens who cherish our democracy and who will be grateful and have your backs when you stand up and ensure the law is respected.

With appreciation,

Daniel Lubetzky

More from Daniel

2022 High Point University Commencement Address

Today, I want to talk about a light and fluffy subject: your generation’s role in steering humanity in the right direction. No pressure, Dalton. 

But in all seriousness, Dalton, I love what you shared about “leaving everywhere you go better than you found it…and finding ways to give grace and inspiration to the people around you.”  

I want to talk today about HOW to do that as you are all simultaneously challenged and blessed with graduating as our world is re-entering a stage of dramatic consequence. 

The ship of humanity is moving in the wrong direction, and it will be upon all of you to steer it back on track. 

To illustrate this point, I want to compare the circumstances when my father’s generation came of age, to those when my generation and your generation graduated from college. 

My father was fifteen-and-a-half when he was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp by American soldiers. He was barely alive.  He never got to go to school past third grade, let alone college. Several of your grandparents were around your age when they were sent to free Europe from tyranny and darkness. 

By contrast, when I was fifteen years-old, my family immigrated to America from Mexico. I was able to attend college during a period when passionate but cordial debate was the norm. I remember observing political leaders vehemently disagree on a particular topic, while maintaining a friendship rooted in respect. Our world was far from perfect – but the arc of human progress trended in an upward direction. Freedom, open markets, human rights, civility, and the quest for knowledge were all advancing.  

It seemed almost too good to be true.  In fact, it was so good that we began to lose sight that Our Great American Experiment isn’t so much a fixed state of affairs as it is a purposeful daily affirmation – something that we opt into, live out, and vote for not once every four years, but every single day – through how we engage with one another. 

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