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Dear [Megan, Jill, Mike, or Jason],

Thanks for the message. I appreciate you taking the time to write a [politically, social justice] inspired rage note to me, your [acquaintance or sort-of-friend] from [college, work, or high school] about [recent events].

You are most correct! I do live in D.C. and I am liberal! We have [political views] in common!

We are in agreement: [Political Figure] is acting like a [child or disgrace] and our nation is assuredly in [danger, peril, or crisis]. I, too, am afraid about the lasting effects of recent shifts in policy regarding [climate change, education, or healthcare].

Your concern about my wellbeing, given my presence [on the front lines or in the belly of the beast] is extremely kind, as are your supportive words regarding [my homosexuality or Judaism] and how that must be so [difficult or scary] under the current administration.

That said, despite your [general or broad] support, I’m very sorry to hear you’re concerned about my [lack of activism on subject], given how close I am to the [White House, Supreme Court, or Congress].

I [recognize, realize, or understand] that my geographical location gives me access to these [historic or unprecedented] [events or decisions], and I can see how you might feel [disappointed or upset] by my lack of [leadership or action]. I have no doubt that if you lived in D.C., you would be [joining the movement, fighting for your life, or constantly protesting]. Your [courage or dedication] to [cause] likely cannot be matched.

Unfortunately, the [reality or truth] is, while I do have a [passion or zeal] for [cause], I also have other [concerns or commitments] to attend to in my daily life. Things like [my job or personal interests].

I get that [volunteering with local youth, paying the rent, maintaining my relationship, or taking care of my dog] may pale in moral comparison, when cast against [recent issue or event], but they’re still responsibilities I feel compelled to [keep or honor].

This [current crisis] is important, and I promise you, I am doing [my part or my best] to make it as much of a priority as I can without neglecting [other aspects of my life]. However, it feels very [short-sighted or unfair] to hold me to the standard of [always or perpetually] [marching, protesting, or GoFundMe-ing] simply because of where I live. Our [fight, struggle, or battle] is a burden that should be carried by many, not just those of us who live down the street from [Political Figure].

I very much appreciate you reaching out. I hope everything’s well back in [Kansas, Missouri, or Chicago]. Let’s definitely grab a [beer or coffee] the next time I’m in town, maybe with [spouse or mutual friend]. If not then, maybe when you come to D.C. for the next [cause] [march, protest, or sit-in].

[Regards, best wishes, or sincerely],

Zach

Zach Straus

Zach Straus peaked at 15 and is mostly held together by masking tape.

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