An Open Letter to Congress January 16, 2019 Dear Senator Whoever, CNN Analyst Stephen Collinson published an editorial this morning entitled “Another Good Day for Putin as Turmoil Grips US and UK”. I recommend it for your reading if you have not done so already. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/politics/us-donald-trump-shutdown-britain-theresa-may-brexit-russia-putin/index.html The article begins as follows: “The news just keeps on getting better for Vladimir Putin. On either side of the Atlantic, the United States and Britain, the two great English-speaking democracies that orchestrated Moscow’s defeat in the Cold War, are undergoing simultaneous political breakdowns.” The article is lengthy, but I think it can be synthesized down to three key observations:“… Britain and the United States are all but ungovernable on the most important questions that confront both nations.”“In both nations, the unwillingness of rebels to dilute the purity of their goals is causing gridlock and resistance in Congress and in Parliament.”(Aside – I would not limit this characterization to “rebels”; unfortunately, it seems to be descriptive of the mainstream and/or rank-and-file of both houses of congress.)“While persistence can be a strength, it can also backfire.” I supported Donald Trump for the presidency with a healthy dose of skepticism, and ultimately only as an alternative to Hillary Clinton. He has had some notable accomplishments, some which probably none of his opponents in either party could have pulled off, and for which he deserves credit. But I believe it is similarly notable, and far more important, that rather than uniting the country which as a candidate he assured us he would, he has divided the country as never before. Just as one person rarely deserves all the credit for their accomplishments, neither does he deserve all the blame for our political difficulties. The fact is he has been enabled by continuous almost blind support among Republicans in congress and I believe this is dangerous, not only for the continuing condition of the republic, but indeed for these members of congress in their next election. The will of the people in this matter was made clear by the humiliating defeat in the recent congressional elections. I believe the senate majority was only spared by a very favorable electoral map, a situation which will not persist into future elections. No president, regardless of his character, qualifications or political persuasion or positions, is worthy of blind support. Nor is any president, regardless of these factors or his party affiliation, ever worthy of absolute opposition. The Democrats’ unreasonable opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination was and should have been expected as a logical follow-on to the way Merrick Garland was received by the Republicans. What goes around comes around. We have to get off of this merry-go-round and it needs to start with the current congress. Of which you are a part. I understand that you are not legally permitted to discuss “politics” from your senate office. It is unquestionable, however, that “politics” are the driving force behind virtually everything that happens there. How else to explain the rock-solid party support for or against any proposal of consequence, by both parties (witness Garland and Kavanaugh). In my opinion, this is not a political discussion, since “Politics” is not the solution. It is the problem. To paraphrase Collinson, your (collective “you”) unwillingness to dilute the purity of your goals is causing gridlock in our legislative processes. While persistence can be a strength, it can also be (in fact it is) a barrier to progress.With All Due Respect,James C. Denton The observations and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. This commentary is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. You should discuss any investment decisions with your financial advisor. Income Tax services provided by DFS Advisors, LLC are conducted as an outside business activity separate and distinct from our relationship with LPL. LPL Financial does not provide tax advice or services.