Monday, January 11, 2021

A letter to Mary Miller

I’m sharing the text of a letter I’ve sent to my district’s representative in Congress, the representative now known on Twitter as #hitlerlady. She’s also made Boing Boing. She’s a disgrace, and she needs to go. If you’d like to sign the petition calling for her resignation, it’s here.

The Honorable Mary Miller
1529 Longworth House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congresswoman Miller:

For the good of our district and our country, please resign. I see two reasons why you should.

1. Your invocation of Adolf Hitler suggests a glaring absence of moral awareness. Let’s look at your words, which you and your allies claim have been twisted:

“Each generation has the responsibility to teach the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts of our children. It’s the battle. Hitler was right on one thing — that whoever has the youth has the future. Our children are being propagandized.”
First, you say that Hitler was right about something. There is no good reason to say that Hitler was right about something. There is no good reason to say that a murderous dictator was right about anything at all. My wife and I have managed to raise two children without ever turning to Hitler for parenting tips. Second, you invoke Hitler’s observation as the measure of what you believe you and your allies must do: engage in your own effort to make children think and act as you want. Your contorted and unconvincing apology for your words makes things worse still by likening to a Nazi anyone who holds views to the left of yours. And your assertion that you are pro-Israel makes things worse by suggesting that objections to your remarks are just a Jewish thing. Hitler’s cruelty and madness had many more targets than Jews. You don’t have to be Jewish to despise Hitler and think it’s disgraceful for a member of the United States Congress to say that Hitler was right about something. Comments on social media from your allies lead me to think that your apology is hardly genuine anyway.

As a practical matter, your assertion that “Hitler was right” damages our district, which is now known around the nation and around the world for your comments. As friends elsewhere ask, “Is she your representative?” Who would want to locate to a district whose representative in Congress says that “Hitler was right”? Oh, wait — I think I know.

2. Your willingness to go ahead with the effort to subvert the acceptance of the 2020 presidential election — even after the violence in Washington last Wednesday — suggests a disdain for the workings of our democratic republic. You may recall from philosophy what’s called the categorical imperative, the idea that one must act as one would have all others act. You have said that your purpose in objecting to the election results was to assure proper procedures in future elections. But what if all members of the House and Senate had acted as you did on Wednesday? The principle that elections are decided by voters would have been overturned, and democracy with it. To have objected for the sake of theater, to stir up “the base,” to please an unhinged president, while knowing that your minority position would make no difference to the outcome, is to have objected in bad faith, with the understanding that enough other people wouldn’t object. That’s a craven attitude to take in Congress or anywhere else.

I doubt that my words will have any influence on you, but I’m offering them anyway, in the spirit of the categorical imperative. I think that everyone should speak up.

And if you plan on serving out your term, please wear a mask around your fellow members of Congress.

Sincerely, &c.

Related posts, for context
January 6 in D.C., with Mary Miller : The objectors included Mary Miller : Mary Miller in The New York Times

comments: 5

Stefan said...

Great letter, Michael. I hope she reads it--and with both an English and philosophical dictionary handy. Not because it's a challenging read but because I'm assuming that Ms. Miller is not very bright.

Daughter Number Three said...


Michael Leddy said...

Whew, indeed. Pat, I think my blood pressure went up about twenty points as I thought about writing this letter.

Stefan, every minute Rep. Miller might spend puzzling over this letter is a minute she can’t be doing damage to the body politic. :)

Fresca said...

Well done, Michael.

"There is no good reason to say that Hitler was right about something."

This should go without saying, but it doesn't, so thanks for saying it.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Fresca. I will keep watching to see what happens in “The Miller’s Tale.”