Tom Davis / January 5, 2011

The Communication Failure

We the People of these United States are being reminded constantly to contact our congressional representatives. Millions of us do just that, we contact them. Within the context of contact there is an implied notion that communication will be the end result. Not so, communication, in the context of the English language, implies a two-way act. I contact you; you respond.

It just does not work that way within our system. For the better part of the last quarter century, since I retired at age Sixty, I have been actively engaged in the game of citizen v. politicos. Why does it have to be me v. them? I do my part and occasionally receive a form letter response noting my message was received. Very infrequently, the reply goes into some very minuscule detail and without exception regurgitates the party line. I keep at it, hoping that my missive at least adds to the count, either pro or con.

My email, mail and phone contacts report the same shoddy treatment. None of us is so naïve as to believe we will get a response to every inquiry. However, is it too far-fetched to expect a little more than, “This is to confirm I received your email or fax or letter.”

At the beginning of the impeachment hearing against Bill Clinton, I wrote a letter to Henry Hyde congratulating the House for its courage on taking the appropriate action. I received not even a thank you or an acknowledgment. After the impeachment, I wrote a letter to every US Senator via Trent Lott, urging them to find Clinton guilty on all charges expeditiously and get back to business. Again, not even an acknowledgment.

On January 21, 2009 I wrote a congratulatory letter to the President who had promised the most open and transparent Presidency in history; not even a White House post card. One year later, same story.

When Obama announced at his first State Of The Union address his intention of repealing DADT, I wrote him a letter giving perfectly cogent reasons why that would be a big mistake. Enclosed with the letter were examples of homosexual acts of which I had real knowledge and of the damage they caused. I sent the same information to Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, General Casey, General Conway and General Schwartz and to Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee. Not a single acknowledgment.

Is it any wonder, I perceive a communication failure?

Should this situation not be improved?

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