Letters to Congress
One of the things I have decided to do is to email politicians about bills/laws.
Such emails may not be acknowledged, or may get a standard reply. Maybe an aide will usually look at the email, add it to a tally ("for" or "against"), and archive the original. On the other hand, my election-time vote might be 1 in 1,000,000 (or more); but, on any particular issue, my email might be 1 in 10,000 (or less). It is low-impact activism; but it is easy activism.
Such activism only makes sense if it takes a minimal amount of time. I recently discovered the Congress.Org site . It tracks what Senators and Congressman are doing and what Bills are coming up. It makes it easy to enter one's details one time, and then send emails out every now and then with very little effort.
All that one has to do is come up with a simple message for the email. All I need is a single subject line: "Thank You for Voting against Eminent Domain", and perhaps one or two additional sentences in the body of the email. That ought not to be hard. I figure that the bulk of the effort will actually be in checking to see what's going on in Congress.
I figured that it would be even easier if the research part was shared. So, whenever I do send an email, I'll post a copy here, in case anyone else wants to send something similar to their rep. I'd ask that if anyone else sends an email to a rep about a bill, they could do the same: post the text here. Again, for me, this particular strain of activism is not about making arguments, but about "being counted", so to speak.
(Telling a legislator that one liked his vote on a bill does not imply one's wholehearted support for the bill, the mixed-economy, or anything else the legislator might be up to.)
I started with an email on stem-cell research. Check how your senator voted here.
Next, I figured an email to Karl Rove's office would make sense after the election:
For senator who voted "Yes":
Subject: Thank you for supporting Embryonic Stem Cell research
Thank you for keeping religion out of government, by voting
for H.R. 810
For senator who voted "No":
Subject: Please support Embryonic Stem Cell research
Please keep religion out of government. I am disappointed that you voted against H.R. 810
This year, many of my votes did *not* go to the GOP, and I thought youThen, talk about the military draft provoked this one:
might be interested in reasons:
- In Iraq, Bush did not stand up for individual-rights and against religious governments on principle, Instead, his half-hearted war has created a religious
government in Iraq.
- Bush has a religious agenda, with his stance on stem-cells and partial-birth abortion. The government must stay out of these areas.
- No-child left behind was worse than Democratic "do nothing", because it makes schools focus on "passing grades". i.e. on poorly performing kids, at the cost of the kids who do well.
- Medicare: Bush took a step toward socialization of medicine. The Democrats will now use that to extend its scope.
SUBJECT: Oppose: Bring Back the Military Draft or other type of "service" requirement
I oppose bringing back the military draft. I also oppose any type of mandatory "service" requirement. To force people to serve is to make them slaves to society -- it is wrong.
Finally, searching for an anti-religion theme, I found a bill that was introduced in the house a while ago, saying that someone who wins certain categories of court cases cannot get their attorney fees reimbursed. The types of cases covered are those where the winner successfully shows that the government is not respecting the separation of church and state requirement.
Subject: Oppose: Public Expression of Religion Act
I am opposed to the so called "Public Expression of Religion Act" because it gives special status to a religious organization like the Boy Scouts of America. Usually, I support Republicans in the hope that they will encat better economic policies. However, I find that the Democrats are the only one's keeping the religious right at bay. I am disappointed that you have voted with the religious right on this issue.