Dear Senator Flake,

I could not be more disappointed that you have chosen not to hold town meetings during this recess. As you know, a meeting was held at the Roosevelt Wellness Center in South Phoenix last evening. We are aware that you were receiving an award in Scottsdale. However, since you were unable to be reached to schedule a different time for this event, the meeting was held without you. It’s unfortunate that you could not attend since a good number of your constituents were there.

I am deeply concerned about the Republican party’s ambitions to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. I have been tremendously lucky throughout my life, as I suffer from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, have had several surgeries, and undergo tremendously expensive infusions to suppress my immune system, but  I have always been covered by an insurance plan that was supplemented by my husband’s job. However, last night we heard heartrending stories from people who would have died were it not for the care they were able to receive through the Affordable Care Act. Rescinding this act and replacing it with something less robust just because the ACA was developed by a Democratic Congress, is a foolish waste of time and will prove to be harmful to hundreds of thousands of people. Paul Ryan seems bent on replacing this act simply out of spite. His attitude and that of so many of your Republican colleagues frightens me.

In addition, we heard many stories from women whose very survival depended on the care they received from Planned Parenthood. You are an intelligent man, and I know you are aware that only a small fraction of what Planned Parenthood does includes abortions. This organization has done a remarkable amount of good for untold numbers of women in our country and the funding should not be discontinued, but so many of your colleagues seem unwilling to listen to reason.

It seems evident that the Republican party, which I used to count myself a member of, has decided that running our country is like a game of football. If you have the ball, you win. So rather than determine what is best for the American people, you and your colleagues rigorously support each other and a President, and I use that term loosely, who has the intellect of a 4th grader and the behavior patterns of a junior high student. He is embarrassing, and your support of him and of his ill-considered and discriminatory policies is intolerable.

I am ashamed of you, and the vast majority of your colleagues.  Your job is to represent ALL of your constituents. Your job is to speak up for the principles and national values of our country, and yet you allowed an unqualified President to select his own disastrous cabinet, because that’s what congress does for its party’s leader? Will you also join your colleague, Reince Priebus, in asking the FBI to cover up its findings with regard to Russia’s interference in our presidential election process?

This is not a game. Our country’s values are at stake, and human lives are at stake. People are being lied to, the American press is being maligned, and you are sitting silent. If you think this is what the American people want, you are sadly mistaken.

This is not about the Republicans winning after eight years of a Democratic President. People are sick to death of that mentality! Take a stand. Reach across the aisle. Work for the good of the country.  Listen to the people you represent – all the people. Take a page from Gabby Gifford’s book and have some courage. The American people will thank you for it.