An Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress

1995 - 09 - 04 crop

Shortly after my daughter turned two years-old, my husband and I took her and her baby brother to an amusement park attached to a local zoo. We bought a few tickets and she chose to ride a motorcycle that went around in a circle.

I smiled as my husband placed her on the red motorcycle she chose. I recalled my own fond childhood memories of riding a motorcycle at the county fair. My daughter smiled broadly as I took photos of her on her first motorcycle ride. The ride started moving forward. My daughter’s motorcycle started popping wheelies, unexpectedly bouncing her up and down as she went in circles. I put my camera away as she clearly wasn’t smiling anymore. As she circled back around to where my husband and I were standing, she was pale and was holding on tightly to the motorcycle. She looked like she had given up on enjoying the ride. By the third time she circled toward us, she looked like she was just trying to figure out how to survive. She began shouting, “That enough now!”

I ran over to the ride operator who was slouched over. He looked like he was asleep at the controls and was completely indifferent to my daughter’s horrifying experience with the ride. I shouted to him, “Stop the ride! My daughter wants to get off!” I pointed her out, even though it was obvious she was in distress, as she was crying and repeatedly screaming, “That enough now!”

The ride operator shrugged and said, “I can’t stop it.” He turned his back on me and returned to his slouched position.

I started running around the motorcycle ride, caught up to my daughter, and shouted to her to keep hanging on tightly, that she would be alright, that the ride would soon come to an end. I don’t know how convincing I was; I was crying myself because I could not compel the ride operator to care about my daughter’s well-being. Common sense caused me to believe that he did have the power to stop the ride – if he wanted to make the effort. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to help my child when he was employed to operate a ride that served children. When the ride stopped moving, my husband quickly stepped onto it and scooped our terrified little girl into his arms. She survived, but we never again foolishly assumed that someone operating the controls of a ride would actually care about my child’s experience.

Republican members of Congress, your constituents have placed the controls of this country in your hands. They trusted you to not sleep on the job. They trusted that when unusual circumstances arose you would find your spine, stand up, and do whatever was in your power to protect the people you serve. You have many issues to address in coming weeks as there is no apparent evidence behind President Trump’s wiretapping claims; the fact that associates related to Trump’s presidential campaign have been under investigation for their involvement with Russia will need to be explored; a Trump Care or Ryan Care health plan that will very literally affect American lives needs to be considered; a budget proposal that cuts all programs that smack of compassion needs to be evaluated; nominees for unfilled administrative positions will have to undergo hearings; previous political allies are getting attacked by our President and you should probably invest some effort in making that stop . . . The world is getting motion sick from watching our political carnival go around and around and around . . . Americans are crying and begging you to do something to bring an end to this crazy ride we’ve been subjected to the last couple months.

“That’s enough now.”


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© 2017 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Julie Ryan.


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