Dear fellow Republican women:
My name is Sasha Gong. Some of you have met me at the recent VFRW convention in Crystal City. I am running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 46th District, which includes 10 precincts in western Alexandria and the Skyline precinct in Fairfax. I am writing to ask for your endorsement.
In doing so, I’d like to share with you a story that illustrates the underlying reason why I am running for office. In 1981, when I was studying English in China, my teacher from Ohio, Sue Bremner, gave each of her students a copy of The Declaration of Independence. When I read the second passage containing its 55 most important words, “…governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…,” I burst into tears in front of my entire class.
The moment happened in the midst of a bitter cold winter in Beijing, in a classroom at Peking University. A few years earlier, I had spent almost a year in solitary confinement in a small cell precisely for wanting and demanding such a government. To this day, those words of our Founding Fathers are forever engraved in my heart. Since I became a citizen of the United States in 2001, I have participated, year after year, in the election process, proud to be a part of “We, the people” who give power to our government with our consent.
That is why I am now very alarmed that our power of consent has been eroding against an ever-expanding government and its social programs. When more and more citizens depend on the patronage of the government for their livelihoods, they quickly lose their ability to give consent. This is, in essence, the same game of giving out “bread and circuses” that destroyed the spirit of Rome’s citizens many centuries ago. It is also what was very wrong about the communist system under which I grew up in China.
I think that the upcoming election in November is very much about this issue. It’s about whether “We, the people” in Virginia will refuse, individually and collectively, to give our consent to governments at all levels that intentionally, or unintentionally, reduce our citizenry into childhood by promising more handouts and thus weakening our power. If this system is perpetuated, it can lead to despotism, as Alexis de Tocqueville warned after his visit to America in the early 1830s.
This election also has implications for the future of our democracy. Our two-party system offers us a brilliant means of institutionalizing opposing opinions and of curbing the impact of momentary passions, while retaining and broadening our democracy. Today, the Republican Party is where most of the organized dissent is. By electing Republican candidates, including myself, We the people will, individually and collectively, be casting a strong ballot in favor of democracy.
Finally, as a woman and a lifelong advocate of women’s rights, I was mortified by what I saw as misogyny in our last election, which revealed deep hypocrisy in our society, particularly among the mainstream media. Now, in America, I advocate for our right to the pursuit of happiness as defined by ourselves. Unfortunately in politics, more often than not, ideological submission is substituted for women’s liberation. We must fight to change this.
As a challenger in November, I understand that I am engaged in an uphill battle. However, the incumbent won her seat in the last election by a mere 16 votes. The victory of Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes in the recent Alexandria City Council election is most encouraging. The tide is turning, clearly. You and I are part of the force that is making it happen.
Let’s show Virginia the power of its Republican women. I am asking for your helping hands in three areas:
Circle of Influence. Place endorsements on your websites. Reach out. Please spread the word about my candidacy. Ask your friends and their friends in the 46th district to come out and vote for me on November 3. Direct them to my website: www.sashagong.net.
GOTV. I have knocked on hundreds of doors and plan to visit as many as 10,000 households between now and November 3. Sometimes friends come with me, but I have walked alone from time to time. Most voters are very friendly, but I have had people shut their doors in my face, and a very mean guy even threatened to have me arrested. I will feel a lot safer if friends come with me.
Fundraising. My opponent has raised a lot of money from law firms and Democratic PACs. So far, I have received donations only from friends. I am determined to show that we can beat their party machine. Please send your donation payable to "Friends of Sasha Gong" to the address at the top of this letter, or via my website (just click the “contribution” button) or host an event.
I promise I will not let you down. Thank you in advance for all that you do.