November 05, 2005

Good Lord I Can't Wait Until Tuesday

This election can't come a moment too soon. 3 more election-related phone calls yesterday. One was legit--a call reminding poll workers to pick up their polling stuff, but the other two? Ugh. The first was a partial message on the answering machine. It was a recording of an ad that was so jumbled we had to listen to it twice to understand it. Boy I hope whoever paid for that ad got their money back. It was an alarmist message about Proposition 73. Not too long later, my least favorite of my two senators, Barbara Boxer, called me. Okay, it was a recording of her voice too, but at least hers was clear and understandable. She was also pimping her side of Prop. 73 and a no vote on Prop. 77.

I know I should just hang up on these things, but I have to admit that much like the proverbial train wreck, I feel compelled to hear what people have to say and why. I'm fascinated by how they twist the truth and use alarmist tactics on both sides to further their own gain. And really, I understand why these things work. Who doesn't want to say yes to a teacher, or a senator, or--most importantly--Warren Beatty!

Okay, I'll be glad when the election is over.

Actually, I'm surprised Barbara doesn't call me more often. In the last several months I have been vigorously exercising my right as an American citizen and part of a representational government to write to both of my senators expressing my opinion on various extremely important issues.

When I was a senior in high school we had the option of writing to our senators or congressmen for extra credit. I was, of course, the only one who took my teacher up on the offer. I wrote to the esteemed former governer Pete Wilson, and in a timely manner, asked him to oppose the first Gulf War (this was 1991 after all). He wrote me a nice letter back--I have no recollection what it said but it was vague enough to give the impression that he listened to me. My teacher nearly danced a jig when I brought it in. He put it up on the bulletin board and bragged about me to several classes. Since this was high school, I was horribly embarrassed and wished the whole thing never happened. Especially since we went to war anyway.

I was perfectly happy with my government following that, until oh, say, 2000 or so (gee, what happened in 2000?). I mumbled my way along for the first 4 or so years, until this year when suddenly a fire has been lit under my butt. Yes, I have been the Queen of Participatory Government! I've been contacting my senators, the aforementioned Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and my congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez numerous times. Days have changed since 1991, when you sent a nice letter and got a nice letter in return. These days it's all done by email. And they email me back! Okay, well, a staffer sends off a form email back, but at least they respond. I would have thought that emails especially go into a dark vacuum since they're so easy to ignore but without fail, nearly every one of my emails have been answered. They even caution against writing letters because of the Anthrax problem, they're so carefully screened it takes a very long time to get to them, apparently. And personally I'd rather my tax dollars didn't go into postage.

So anyway, I'm surprised that Barbara and Dianne aren't calling me on a regular basis since they certainly hear from me quite often. I suppose the least I could do would be to listen to their phone messages in exchange for their responding to my emails.

Posted by Shelby at November 5, 2005 11:39 AM

Go Shelby!! Another good way to get in touch with your government reps is via fax machine - especially if you send your fax late at night or early in the morning. That way its on the top of the pile when they pick up the faxes.

Posted by: Mary at November 7, 2005 05:27 AM
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