Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yeah, what she said, and...

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.

32 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

You ROCK, you yellow dog, you. I'll get right on this.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Thanks, Luisa! I was a little worried about the offense factor of this post, so getting a nice affirmation first thing was wonderful!

painted maypole said...

awesome!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Thanks, PM!

Lilacspecs said...

It's a bit more difficult to do that sort of thing from over here, but I was sure to get my absentee ballot for the primaries and dropped it in the mail while I was in Pittsburgh. I can only hope that, for the first time since I've legally been allowed to vote, that my voice has a chance to be heard.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Lilac - one word - skype! Do you have skype? I'm the world's biggest skype fan. Drop me an e-mail if you want to know more. FREE calls from the U.S. to Europe - I'm all over it. Wait... but it wouldn't work in this case. Okay, bug your Mom, friends, bro, etc., instead. ;-)

soccer mom in denial said...

I'm always amazed when something I write gets people going. Like, oh, you and your wonderful brain.

Thanks for writing this, for continuing the discussion and encouraging people to stay engaged. I am so worried people will check out for a variety of reasons and we will be stuck with 4 or 8 more years of repressive Republican rule.

citizen jane said...

Thank you thank you thank you.

One of my pet peeves (amongst many) is when people bitch and moan about the state of things -- and then do nothing to try and change the situation. This is a marvelous and easy pro-active step you're advocating. You totally rock, my fellow yellow dog Dem.

April said...

So my call into the Stephanie Miller Show yesterday didn't count? Damn!
When I call, my message will be that both of them need to start acting like they are the Presidential candidate and focus on McCain. We can beat this guy on the issues. I know it!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

SMID, I was really impressed by the response I got from Party headquarters. She said they really NEED to hear from membership right now because this nomination process has been so unusual in so many ways.

Citizen Jane - this has been SMID's position over and over again, too. And it's mine. We need to walk the walk as well as do the talking. And it can be easy, sometimes.

April - whatever your position, the main thing is to get active! ;-) What is the Stephanie Miller show? Is that a talk show in CA? And I think those calls are important, too - bigger audience and all that. ;-)

Ben said...

It's very easy to "blog" about what is wrong with politicians. It takes a true American to pick up the phone (get out to the streets, write a letter to congress) to make his/her voice heard. I am not a citizen, but I can surely make J do this for me :-p

I love it when your posts become political ;)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Thanks, Ben, and yup - nudge J to action! ;-)

bleeding espresso said...

Another yellow dog here who was just saying essentially these same things to another yellow dog over email today. As I wrote, I just wish one of them would stand up and be an adult and say ENOUGH. I've already voted, but my vote in November just may be based on actions from here on out.

I probably won't be making phone calls from here in Italy, but I will urge my (yellow dog) family in PA (yes! THE Pennsylvania!) to do so and start composing a strongly worded email....

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Michelle, we were crossposting! ;-)

I'm glad you'll be nudging your family. Despite my calls, I need to nudge mine, too. Especially if your family is from THAT PA!

anno said...

I, too, am rediscovering the phone. Sometimes, it's good to engage!

Hannah Specter said...

Hell Yeah! I hear you!

I also learned that one hand written letter is worth like 500 or 1000 (some big number) signatures on a petition.

Ok, calling.. good idea. Good idea indeed. I need to read Soccer mom now.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Anno, glad you're rediscovering the telephone! ;-)

Hannah, thanks for stopping by, and you bring up a good point, which may be fodder for my next political post.

Flower Child said...

Thanks for this - and for giving us numbers other than congressional representatives to call - since we don't really have one here in DC I need to be reminded that I do have some in other ways. You'd think I'd remember but sometimes the old brain needs a bit of a kick. :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What I also should have put out there was a zip code for Pelosi's district. I can't believe how frustrated I would be with no representation. My current representative is a Neanderthal (not to insult Neanderthals), but my previous Rep. was great in terms of some issues that came up when we were hosting exchange students over the years.

cablegirl said...

Sadly, I'm so behind on my blog reading that I missed that particular post by SMID whom I usually read obsessively. I'll go check that out now.

As for everything else you said, all I can reply is hear hear! I'm so sick of people complaining about the current system and yet not lifting a finger (or a phone) to try to make a change. This is our country and our government. It is our responsibility to get involved and make ourselves heard.

Sandy C. said...

Such a a great post! Thank you for putting this in black and white and inspiring us to get off our butts and pick up the phone. And that you for those links.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Amen!!!

You know how I feel about this primary.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

CG and Sandy, thanks, and I'm glad you see it that way, too! And Sandy, how are you finding time to read blogs right now?!

NYC - Yup, I sure do, and I'm right there with you, as you know. ;-)

Dru said...

You're right about how ugly democratic nomination has become. Why does everything have to turn negative. I know several people who are turned off and will not vote regardless because they are so tired of the whole political process.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Dru, that's what SMID's post was about - the fact that some people are thinking of giving up their votes, which would be a shame.

La delirante said...

Very interesting post. I was thinking about sending an e-mail to the PM here to ask him what his ideas re the public transport are because the one we have is terrible.

I had previously sent some to other politicians and they replied. When I have called them on the phone it didn't work out the same I'm afraid. Usually secretaries putting obstacles to talk to the people you want to directly. But I guess that in the States it is different. Great post and keep it up!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

No, Wendy, you're right. But even with letters here, they usually just go to the staff. The point is that the staff DOES pass things on. I think it's the cumulative impressions that they receive that make a difference. It may also be that the cumulative impressions are weighted - someone e-mailing may not count for as much as a phone call or an actual letter, because those show more commitment in terms of time. Also, I am SO with you on public transportation - I think it's what's killing the American economy right now - our reliance on gasoline.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

To anonymous - I removed your comment because I have a feeling you're just sending that same post to every blog that supports Obama in any way. If you wanted to actually sign your name to your comments and allow people a way to debate your "facts," I would have left things standing. Ugh.

hotmamamia said...

Never read you before...linked to you from LilacSpecs, and will read you forever now....you are RIGHT ON...doesn't matter the affiliation (dark side or otherwise)...the SYSTEM is BROKEN.

THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

jen-

I'm the anonymous poster who wishes to still remain anonymous. What I posted are facts, many of which you Obama supporters have no clue or idea even exist. Doesn't matter most of you are caught up in what feels good rather than hard facts anyways. Just be aware that a feel good vote will result in the demise of this country. A vote for Hillary is no better either.

I posted here because you may think you have a captive audience of only people that feel the way you do. Alas, welcome in the silent majority who do exist and is a reality. I happen to be related to somebody who you all know quite well. Us, along with a bunch of other folks who you know quite well are humored by your total and complete lack of understanding as to what this country faces in the coming years and what it will take to lead it there. While you vote for two candidates who are more than willing to slit the neck of this country and turn what little sovereignty over to the UN and play paddy cake with a bunch of terrorists who are hell bent to the point of suicide, thankfully there are those of us here who will trump your foolish ideas and hopefully salvage the USA from utter destruction. Until you, like me, have stood in Iraq and saw first hand the kind of enemy we are fighting, only then might you begin to understand what this country is all about.

I pity those who are foolish enough to vote for Obama, and if you really want the truth read the post that I put up and you took down. Not that you really care anyways, it's all about feelings. Good enough, I hope you are having a party after the next 9-11 cause it's coming and you're helping. I on the other hand will morn those who died and the incompetence of those who support the likes of Clinton, Obama, and all the other far left moon bats. I will further offend you by saying that every day I pray to GOD... that's right it's not illegal yet, that he will have mercy on us and keep our country free and safe. I also pray that he give the fortitude to our elected officials to govern with the integrity to understand that at times things must be done to keep this country free which are not popular, but necessary to keep us all free.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Hotmamamia - Thanks so much for dropping by and if you also blog, please leave me a way to find yours. And I love Lilacspecs's blog - she's a remarkable person.

Anonymous - I allow anonymous comments on my blog because some of my relatives who are not technically savvy read my blog and don't know how to contact me otherwise. You have not posted once in response to my post. You are making assumptions about who I am and what my beliefs are, and you are not related to anyone I know "well". I have many friends who are on the opposite end of the political spectrum from me, but they are all honest folks who own up to their opinions and are able to discuss things openly. You do not seem to be able to do that, and your posts are vindictive, insulting and filled with hatred. If you want to write me off the boards and discuss this openly, please do - my e-mail is posted via my profile. If not, then please desist from posting on my blog. I'll keep this last post of yours up, but since you have no interest in having an open dialog OR in reading what I actually wrote, then please keep your hate-mongering, over-the-top, conspiracy comments to yourself.

Grimm said...

Many people have complaints but do nothing about the way things are - I admire and appreciate that you have given readers the means to proceed further with their issues and to get some answers.

Bravo!