Just as I was leaving on hiatus, Soccer Mom in Denial wrote this important post.
I believe it was an important post because it was a call to action. We're big on action here in the blogging community, but unfortunately, all too often we're preaching to the choir, and while we may be satisfied by hits in the double digits, it really isn't a large audience in the big scheme of things. Also, unless we're the kind of power players that I'm guessing most of my audience is not (and I'm not, either), our blogs are not read by those who can truly make a difference on our political issues, ie. our legislators.
Now, whether or not they can make a difference in this rather convoluted period of history in the good old U.S. of A. is a debate for another time, but let's at least assume that elected officials are our best shot for getting our voices heard.
The gist of SMID's post was a "Come to Jesus" meeting for all Democrats, pleading with everyone to put aside their differences during this contentious campaign season and support whomever wins the nomination, so that McCain does not become our next president. Of course, she put it much more eloquently and passionately, and you really should go read it in her own words.
Be that as it may, I want to suggest that we take this a step further. I do believe that this Democratic nomination campaign has been one of the most divisive and disgusting that I remember. I also feel that Americans have been beaten down as voters and as citizen activists as our Constitutional rights have been removed one by one over the past seven years. I don't believe the president that we actually elected has been in the White House for either of the past two terms. And I'm devastated by all of that. And for those of you whom I'm offending right now, I beg your pardon, but please remember that I'm exercising what's left of my First Amendment Rights and trying to be a good American in the best way I know how.
Beaten down or not, though, we do have power and we need to use it.
It's from an older piece of technology and has nothing to do with blogging.
It's called a telephone.
There was recently an issue in my home state that I felt strongly about. I called every single sponsor of the bill that I questioned. I spoke to every single office of those sponsors. Apparently hundreds of others did, as well. Of the original fifteen sponsors, six dropped out, and that bill appears to be dead for the moment.
Feeling emboldened by this, I called Democratic National Headquarters when my next almost-daily e-mail arrived begging for money.
I picked up the telephone, and this is what I said: "I've been a yellow dog Democrat all my life, and I'm on the verge of becoming an Independent because I'm disgusted by the current campaign sniping, particularly by one candidate. I feel that this candidate should face reality and is hurting the Democratic party by this candidate's actions. I don't feel heard by the party leadership. I don't feel heard by my state leadership, because I'm from Michigan, and my party leaders decided to jump the gun on the primaries, which I did not support. What can I do? What can you tell me to do to get my voice heard?"
I was not brushed off. I had about a fifteen minute conversation with a very nice, earnest, and similarly frustrated young woman at the headquarters. And this is what she told me:
Use the telephone.
Use the telephone to call your Democratic Senators, Representatives, State Party, National Party and Nancy Pelosi. If you're not in a Democratic district, find a zip code from the nearest district and use that when you call, so you won't be brushed off. If you're upset, you need to let the Party leadership KNOW.
Yes, SMID has a great call to action for after the nomination process. But for those of us who are upset now and who want changes now, please... pick up that telephone.
To find the numbers of your local Representative, go here. For your Senators, go here. Nancy Pelosi's numbers are (415) 556-4862 and (202) 225-4965. The Democratic National Party number is 202-863-8000. And you can find your state party number here.