Editor’s note: The authors shared this letter with MorristownGreen.com. The opinions are theirs and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.
Feb. 20, 2017
Dear Congressman Frelinghuysen,
Dan and I are both Jewish. Our parents were Holocaust survivors. Both of our parents escaped because of the actions of at least four righteous Gentiles. Our country welcomed them with open arms.
We are deeply concerned about autocratic rule targeting minorities and destroying the largest country that has successfully implemented democracy.
Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon, an avowed white supremacist, is just one of many examples of this horrifying trend.
Trump is behaving like a dictator, threatening opponents and willing to target them with hatred and hurt them with little or no evidence.
Trump’s entire objective is to increase and defend his own personal power with outrageous lies that we may be getting too accustomed to.
In his hunger for an enemy, what if we had real economic problems? Who would be scapegoated and killed this time?
We are certain that you do not share his views.
We appreciate your involvement in our community especially with the Calais School, of which Dan is a board member. We have both voted for you in the past.
Eliot Cohen, an expert on the Middle East who served as a counselor for the State Department under George W. Bush, describes precisely what life is like now for those of us in the “conservative movement.”
It is, Cohen says, a defining moment:
“For the community of conservative thinkers and experts, and more importantly, conservative politicians, this is a testing time. Either you stand up for your principles and for what you know is decent behavior, or you go down, if not now, then years from now, as a coward or opportunist. Your reputation will never recover, nor should it. …
“The biggest split will be between those who draw a line, and the power-sick, whose longing to have access to power, or influence it, or indeed to wield it themselves, causes them to fatally compromise their values.
“For many more it will be a split between those obsessed with anxiety, hatred, and resentment, and those who can hear Lincoln’s call to the better angels of our nature, whose America is not replete with carnage, but a city on a hill.”
This is what we are asking of you. You already have power and influence. You can draw the line.
We implore you to vote your conscience and not your politics or self-interest. Not only for Jews but for all people and mostly for our country, a nation of immigrants with liberty and justice for all.
Louise Karger MD and Dan Karger LCSW
Dan Karger is a psychotherapist in private practice. Louise Karger is enjoying a second career as a grandmother after retiring from her medical practice. Their two daughters and their families also live in Morristown.