Framing the Dialogue

All We Are Is Dust In The Wind

The lyrics to Kansas’ famous power ballad, Dust In The Wind, describes to me how our elected officials and American elitists must think about us.

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see

We are drops of water in an endless sea, all we are is dust in the wind.  How many of you have called, written, faxed, or e-mailed your congressman?  Over the years, I have done this numerous times (I am more of an e-mailer).  My e-mails usually generate the “automatic” reply thanking me for my comments and that Senator Representman would soon reply.

Like Virginia waiting for Santa, I wait and wait and wait for their reply.  their less-than-timely replies generally fall into the following categories:

  • Relief:  “Senator Representman agrees with your position and rest assured that he is working diligently on a bi-partisan effort to achieve a desired result.”
  • Redirect:  “Senator Representman understands your concern and is considering options and has really been working on the contentious issues regarding the naming of a national cookie.  What is more American than a fortune cookie?”
  • Ignore:  “Senator Representman has your best interests at heart and is working on yadda yadda.  Unfortunately yadda yadda is not why you contacted him.”
  • Request:  “Senator Representman is currently in a tough battle to stay in office to continue fighting for you.  Please consider sending a contribution to his campaign.”
  • Dial Tone:  No response whatsoever

I have noticed a new trend with our “representatives.”  The simplicity in contacting an elected official is inversely proportional to the level of their position.  It is fairly easy to contact your local state representative and very difficult to contact a member of the U.S. Senate.  They no longer provide e-mail addresses that you can use to contact them.  They have have this cumbersome series of boxes that you need to complete before you can give them a  piece of your mind.

The only reason to make you fill in these boxes is to make the experience so frustrating that you will think twice before you ever do it again.  If you are inclined, however, Senator Representman will add you to his newsletter list.  You can automatically enjoy reading his opinions in the luxury of your own home.

I remember a recent issue where I exercised my DUTY to express my concerns about upcoming legislation.  I am still waiting for an official response even though the vote was weeks ago (Cap & Trade).  I tried to respond to the auto response, but that bounced back. 

I get the feeling that they do not want to hear from us. 

During the bi-partisan debate about the subprime mortgage bailout, polls showed an overwhelming percentage of Americans against the extreme measures.  A Freedom Works poll listed 62% of Americans against the bailout and a Fox News poll showed only 30% support for the plan.  Americans were not just against the plan, they made their concerns known and actually overburdened both the congressional e-mail and telephone systems. 

Our voices were heard and they passed the bill anyway.  That is the difference between hearing and listening.  How has that bailout helped so far?

It is time to remind Senator Representman that he works for us.  Take the time to fill out their forms and do it often.  If we do it often enough, they will surely add one of these to their sites in the interest of security:

We have to remind them that…

We surround them!

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