Anyone who ever had anything to do with the Obama campaign or any other Democratic campaign probably shares in the experience of receiving emails from this still-active and very assertive organization. Their latest item, with the subject line "I need your voice on health care" showed up in my Inbox yesterday. This prompted me to let him know where we need to hear his voice by sending this reply to this email:
I need your voice to stand up against torture and stand for the rule of law. "Let bygones be bygones" doesn't cut it. Torturers and their enablers must be brought to justice.
I need your voice to instruct your attorney general to review the case of Don Siegelman just as he threw away the conviction of Ted Stevens with the stroke of a pen. The plethora of irregularities in the Siegelman case merit a substantial administrative review.
I need your voice to do something about service people who have served our country with honor and distinction, and who have skills that our services desperately need, being discharged for being openly gay. You are the commander-in-chief. You have the authority and responsibility to do the best you can to manage our armed services. Throwing away the considerable investment that has been made in training, as well as the considerable experience that these individuals bring to the military to satisfy the ideological imperatives of a few extremists serves no useful purpose.
I need your voice to allow the option of single-payer to be part of the discussion of health care reform. Surely as President you have enough influence with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus to persuade him not to have physicians and nurses who want to appear before his committee arrested. Senator Baucus' aggressive suppression of a discussion of the Single Payer option hurts the health care discussion. Let us leave mindless political theater to the Republicans.
I do not expect instant radical change but I have had the audacity to hope that the course of the public's business would turn in the direction of rationality, truth, and justice when your administration took power. At the very least, in the cases I have noted above, this hope has turned to disappointment as you have gone back on what you led us to believe you would do. I see an eagerness to find "common ground" with people who have no interest in working with you. In my humble opinion, further attempts to please these people are irrational.
I have made my opinions about health-care reform known to my elected representatives. When I hear your voice ordering rational action in areas where you have said you would take action I will be more inclined to lend my support to your administration's initiatives.
In the interest of truth I should report that I did receive an an automated acknowledgment that my message to Organizing for America had been received.
As their original email said, "Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That's what Organizing for America is all about. Now, in these crucial moments, your voice once again has extraordinary power. I'm counting on you to use it."
I would like to think that I am making my modest contribution as a citizen.