The political blogosphere is like a virtual universe. Every political view forms its own galaxy in this universe. And like the real universe, travel between those galaxies seems to be impossible. Oh, we can take a peek at those galaxies through a telescope (or a quick visit to the other side of the political divide), but our interaction with them is extremely limited. This leads to the claims that the blogosphere is little more than an echo chamber where beliefs are reinforced, but rarely changed.
When this blog was originally founded by a diverse group of bloggers it was intended to be a place where rational discourse could take place. It has proven to be a fairly civil place that is troll-free. However, even here the dialog is mostly one-sided.
If there was one thing we wanted from this blog it certainly wasn’t a one-sided conversation. The tag line for the site is “Progress through politics.” There can be no progress if we are only reinforcing each other. That is why we’ve decided to take a tiny step forward to break that echo chamber.
One way to effect progress is to make our voices heard outside the blogosphere. Encouraging our members to write letters to the editor would be useful. Encouraging them to engage their family, friends, and coworkers in conversations about current events would also be useful. But the most effective way to have your voice count is to let your representatives in Congress know what you are thinking.
I couldn’t count how many times I’ve said to myself, “What were those idiots in Congress thinking when they did that?” God knows, they could certainly use a boost to their brainpower.
Well, now there’s a way to give them a piece of your mind. The Moose is getting ready to add a section to our site that will allow you to click-through to a site that will allow you to send a message to your Congressional representative and to your senators with one submission. This works through a site called www.rallycongress.com (many thanks to NavyBlueWife for the discovery).
We are creating a page that will not only provide a link to the site, but also have a list of pre-written texts for various subjects of interest to our readers. You can view the draft of that page here.
Before we link to that page from the main site we’d like the MM community’s input and feedback on the idea. Please suggest subjects for form letters. We could also use help writing those form letters. If you feel strongly about an idea write it up and one of our editors will proofread it and then add it to the list.
Here’s a chance to have your voice heard – please speak up.
[UPDATE] We have several regular contributors who feel strongly about Civil Rights, especially those involving the LGBT community. It would be really helpful if one of you could write a form letter for DADT or DOMA. Make it short, sweet, and to the point. Please limit to less than 2000 characters so the auto-submission won’t fail.
[UPDATE 2] Here is a sample letter I wrote in support of the public option. I’m posting it here to give everyone an example of what we are looking for in the way of form letters. Editing suggestions welcome.
It is obvious to any thinking American that health care reform is urgently needed in this country. As a constituent and voter I want to let you know my feelings on the issue of a public option in the current reform effort.
The private insurance industry has had several decades to deal with the problems regarding the availability of health care. They have only made things worse. The only way to get them to take this matter seriously is to provide people with a choice that does not involve private companies. Only then will they face up to reality.
Government employees, including representatives such as yourself, receive health care paid for with taxpayer dollars. Are the average citizens of this country any less deserving than government employees?
Please support the option of a strong public plan in the current reform. A plan that will be able to negotiate prices with providers in the same way that private insurance companies do today.
Any reform bill without a public plan option will be a weak bill and will reflect poorly on those politicians who support it.