Monday, May 5, 2008

Raise Your Voices...Oh, Damn!

In the age of wonders we now live in, it should be the easiest thing to participate in our Democracy. Want to express yourself to an elected representative? Send him or her an email. Wow - it doesn't get any easier than this, right?!

Wrong. Because unless you live in the district represented by an elected member of Congress, you can't email them! I don't know when it happened, within the last year I'm thinking, but now if you go to the home page of your local U.S. Senator or Representative and want to email him or her, you have to give proof via your ZIP code that you live within their bailiwick. Otherwise, go screw yourself, they don't care what you think.

Can you lie and type in a phony ZIP? Sure, why not. Except that to do so would begin your conversation with this elected official with a lie. And if they realize you are lying, they have no reason to regard your message as anything but junk and spam. In the Trash it goes!

It hasn't always been like this. Last year, on several occasions, I emailed Representatives and Senators in other states about issues I felt were important enough to express my opinions upon. I felt it was my duty as a citizen. Now I'm told that my opinion no longer matters, unless I voted for them.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen! You have successfully thwarted the voice of the people once again! Be proud. (Would you like me to send you a box with my severed fingers and torn-out tongue for Christmas? I won't be needing them anymore...)

NOTE: This post is based on my own informal survey of approximately 20 home web pages of Senators and Representatives currently serving in Congress, from at least 10 different states. If you can find any contrary information, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

I think the problem is tht when it is so easy for anyone to send an email, the lobbying interests find it easy to get their followers to send a blizzard of emails to everyone. And so, being from the end of the political scale with less money and therefore less lobbyings, I appreciate virtually anything that is done to separate constituents from shills, though as you correctly point out, there are draw-backs to that approach.

gomonkeygo said...

You're probably right, but from a simple principle of open communication with the electorate, I find it disenchanting to say the least.

Thanks for the comment!