June 9, 2003
My wife and I recently moved from one end of the country to the other and
everything changed. We went from hot to cold, flat land to hills, puny
palms to towering cedars, steaming sandy beaches to snow-covered
But one thing apparently hasn't changed a bit. 'My' politicians aren't listening.
In Florida I had sent a series of letters and e-mails to my two senators and representative. Among other things, I urged that aid to Israel be curtailed until the settlements were removed; I complained about Congressional support for war in Afghanistan; I expressed outrage at the giveaway of Congressional powers by handing over to President Bush the 'right' to wage war on Iraq -- and anyone else -- on his whim.
In response to my comments on curtailing aid to Israel, both my Florida senators sent me nearly identical form letters telling me they shared my concern for Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
My letters on the 'War on Terrorism' began with the question: "Is Congress, are YOU, going to allow Bush to bring us eternal war against the whole world?" Apparently the answer was "yes" as both my senators and my representative thanked me for endorsing their support for the war. (It's true that Florida Sen. Bob Graham later voted against war with Iraq, but only because he had other targets in mind.)
Things would be different here in the progressive state of Washington, I thought naïvely. I was sure that Washington state politicians would not only be more enlightened, they would be more responsive. They would listen to what I had to say and respond with pertinent comments, either pro or con.
So when the FCC made clear its intentions to allow even greater concentration of the media, I e-mailed both my Washington senators and my representative demanding that they take steps to curtail this dangerous threat to democracy.
The result? Silence.
I tried again. I sent e-mail letters demanding the impeachment of Bush for his lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction and other war crimes, as well as his assaults on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
My representative, and one senator never answered. I did receive a form letter reply from Sen. Patty Murray that was breathtaking in its banality and its total irrelevance to what I had written.
Remember as you read her reply that I had proposed the impeachment of Bush for his actions in Iraq.
Dear Mr. DeckertApparently her "work for the people of Washington State" doesn't include actually listening to them.
I don't give up all that easily, so I hit 'reply' and sent a sharp retort. It bounced. All e-mail, I learned, has to go through her web site where it is more easily channeled -- and ignored.
I sent the reply again via the web site, with the subject line "Pablum in response to my e-mail":
Dear Sen. MurrayI haven't received a reply to that yet, but I suspect I'll get another -- or the same -- form letter thanking me for my comments about Iraq.
I misspoke when I said I used the subject line "Pablum in response to my e-mail." Miss Patty's website doesn't allow you to type in your own subject line. It has to be one from a list: Abortion, Aging, Agriculture, AIDS...Veterans, Welfare, Women.
Having the approved list, I suspect, allows the senator's aides to pick the correct form-letter reply without even having to read your comments.
We lost control of our democracy a long time ago to corporations and other members of the ruling elite. Our politicians aren't listening to us because we don't matter. They only dance with who brung them. And who brung them were corporations and individuals who can make bribes, affectionately known as 'campaign contributions', in five figures.
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Main Media & Propaganda on Swans
Iraq on Swans
The Balkans and Yugoslavia on Swans
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.
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