6.27.2013

Writing (Block) to Congress

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For a while, I have tried to write to my congressmen every six months or so.  I've written on innovation, immigration, health care, world hunger, and mental health, among other topics.  I'm due for another letter.  And I have nothing to say.

Why is this?  I obviously don't have a problem generating dreck to write.  Maybe it's because I feel too busy to think about something to engage my elected officials about.  Maybe it's because I feel less attuned to what's going on in Capitol Hill.  Or, maybe I am feeling jaded about how Congress behaves now, such that my letter really doesn't matter because there is no real discourse anymore. 

I remember when I first got into this habit.  I used to actually write and send physical letters.  Relatively often and relatively quickly, I would get responses.  I never harbored any pretense that my elected officials were actually reading and responding, but I did appreciate that their offices did.  And while their correspondence had a cut-and-paste feel to them, neither were they completely formulaic; someone took the time to actually read my stuff and put together some thoughtful responses based on what their office was working on.  Sure, their thoughts on whatever issue I was writing about were probably pretty far along, but there was a possibility that a staffer might note to their boss, if asked, that his or her constituencies were saying X or Y on a particular issue.  My voice might actually matter!

I hope it still does.  But I am feeling some serious writer's block, and am wondering if it's because in my heart of hearts I wonder if it still does.


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