Dear Republican,

Years ago I would have cringed reading a letter that started that way, and I’d certainly never have written it. I thought myself above “us versus them” mentalities and believed them harmful to our nation. I thought it was irrational and unfair to pit two sides against each other, especially when both think they’re doing the best for our country… but so much has changed in the last decade that one can’t avoid firmly picking a side now, because it’s not just petty “Democrat versus Republican” anymore.

I do still agree with myself that both everyday Republicans and Democrats are fighting for what they think is right for their families and their country, but I believe every day Republicans are choosing what they think is right for the country based on deliberate misinformation and lies they’ve been fed by the Republican establishment and right wing media to manipulate them through fear into supporting things that are actually destructive to our country’s core. This outright manipulation of average Republicans means you cannot argue both positions or sides as a whole are morally just in their actions and equal in any measure when one side is corrupting the foundations of our country by suppressing law and vetoing processes that have been in place since the founding of our country – the laws that protect the freedoms which make our country “Great”. When Republicans are suppressing human rights and denying people the right to their existence… that isn’t two sides. That’s one side draining humanity from all others so that opposition ceases to exist… and that’s what we’ve seen time and time again in oppressive nationalistic regimes that turn deadly for mass amounts of people. A direct connection, if you need one, is the events leading up to WWII and Nazi Germany – it is a mirror of what we have going on today. At this point, comparisons to Nazi Germany and Hitler are a trope, repeated so often as to almost lose meaning, but if you really know history, the parallels are unnerving and clear.

The world I want the children of this planet to inherit is one of justice, equality, and equitable access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot achieve that if we don’t overpower the cancerous tumor that is the Republican establishment’s power grab on our country, by lawmakers and media moguls who believe undermining Democracy and putting human life in jeopardy is a fair way to live their lifestyle. Every single American is, and should be, able to live their lives in a fair and just way with their belief system and freedom of speech uninhibited so long as it does not harm other people. It says this right in the first amendment that we should all be free to worship whatever higher power we choose and to speak freely – which means everyone, not only white Christians.

When people read my books and still vote Republican, I don’t understand how they agree with my message, but don’t understand how the people they vote for are actively working against the better future I’m striving for. I’m actively asking for the world to be more equitable for its people, and for us – in one of the most influential countries in the world – to prioritize climate action so we can stop climate change and protect our planet.

Simply put: voting Republican is absolutely antithetical to everything I’m working for and everything I’ve worked so hard to do. When you vote Red, you take all the words I’ve written and all the illustrations I’ve made and you make my job harder. When Trump rolled back EPA regulations (initially, with as many as 100 to come) while I was working on IF POLAR BEARS DISAPPEARED, I saw the hope I was supposed to be giving children drain from myself. And when Trumps team removed elephant trophy hunting import restrictions while I was working on IF ELEPHANTS DISAPPEARED, I felt sick for days. In the end, making my job harder doesn’t really matter, because ultimately what you’re doing by voting Republican is making our planet lock into a course that will make our planet unlivable for generations of kids and adults to come… and an America that denies rights to many so the few can prosper.

This could be read directly as a plea to Republican family members, which is fine. But maybe it also reads as a plea to those who’ve read my books to their kids and skipped the steps in the back to protect sea ice or save elephants, who’ve thought (whether cynically or stubbornly) “well voting doesn’t fix this”. It can and it does and it has. But we have to vote Blue on November 3rd, for Democrats at home and in DC, so that our planet can have hope.

We vote Democrat for the future, and the planet we want our kids to inherit.

I can say it’s now “us versus them” and “Democrat versus Republican” when there are over 400 unmoved House bills on Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s desk, when McConnell and the other senate Republicans broke from tradition and suppressed Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, when they continue unwavering support for an impeached President, six times bankrupt and twenty-five times accused of sexual assault or rape, when immigrant children are pulled from their parents (a thing that Trump’s team voted to approve) and placed in concentration camps where many have died and women have been forcibly sterilized (even if camps like these existed under Obama, as the grade school saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right”). It’s officially two sides against each other when the same Republican leaders who stood behind the current President when he said Neo Nazis were “very fine people” also backed the suppression of information and deliberate ignorance of facts that put accused rapist Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. The Republicans fear monger and are corrupt, fueling wild claims (with no evidence) like those that Democrats lead child trafficking rings out of pizza shops, while actual children have been ripped from their parents and many have died on the Southern Border (with evidence of deaths as well as thousands of sexual assault allegations). Meanwhile Republicans say that the elderly should be willing to sacrifice themselves for our country because of COVID-19, because two hundred thousand Americans dying because of a pandemic was supposedly “unavoidable”. My list could go on and on… because it does go on and on as the news continues and facts appear, because we are having a constitutional crisis put in place by Republicans who are suppressing votes and holding our legislative branches hostage.

So I’m asking you, if you read my books and support my work, or even if you don’t, please vote Democrat. Do it for the future your kids will inherit, do it because you want America to still have hope in 4 years, do it because of your believe in freedom of speech, do it because you want people and their children to have an inhabitable world. You will be remembered for either supporting an aspiring fascist, or for helping steer the country away from him and his ilk.

No matter your reasoning, you have to Vote Blue and make sure your friends do too.

P.S. Every highlighted link, like this, is a link to a source to prove the facts I’m sharing. Nothing in this post was said in malice or without evidence from verifiable and trusted sources.