So apparently there’s a hierarchy of effectiveness in ways of communicating with one’s Congresspersons.
Some of the least effective ways include Twitter, Facebook, ranting blog posts, and other public, untargeted means of communication. E-mail is okay, but, like postal mail to a Congressperson’s Washington D.C. office, it doesn’t have the same immediacy and force as other methods. Writing their regional office is a recommended means, but calling the regional office highly increases one’s chance of a) actually talking to a staffer and b) having some attention paid. I suppose that the ultimately effective tactic is to buttonhole one’s Congressperson in the flesh, but that’s a rare opportunity for people on the national level. I’m not a fan of phone calls, but they look like the best way to reach the national Congresspeople, with letters to regional offices being a somewhat distant second.
Be that as it may, Paul Ryan [Speaker of the House] is getting a postal mail letter to his district office. I called his Washington D.C. office on Friday and filled out a phone survey in favor of the Affordable Care Act [and thus in opposition to Ryan’s attempts to gut it]. I also wanted to leave a message, but his voice mail was full and not accepting messages. Hah! That’s why I’m sending him a letter.
At some point in the future, I will probably run out of restraint, decency, and eloquence. I’ll just bombard my government officials with barely coherent outrage made up mostly of swears, but right now I’m still forming complete sentences, as seen below. [Obviously I retooled my anti-Bannon letter from last week.]
Though I don’t live in your district, I write to you as a worried U.S. citizen who recognizes your influential position in the national government. You’ve got the President-elect’s ear, so I hope I can take a moment to bend yours.
The President-elect has appointed Steve Bannon as a senior advisor and chief strategist. From his history as head of Breitbart News, it’s clear that Bannon has a history of racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, and white supremacist tenets. His installation legitimizes bigotry in the White House.
Some members of Congress have denounced Bannon, including my Green Mountain State representatives, your colleagues Peter Welch and Patrick Leahy. In fact, almost 170 members of Congress have signed a letter, expressing their opposition to Bannon and the prejudices he stands for.
I sincerely hope that you break your silence and join your colleagues. Don’t support the enshrinement of hatred in the White House. Tell the people of this country and the President-elect that you oppose Bannon’s appointment – speak up for respect, equality, and fairness.