Facebook is a wonderful networking tool. It has also turned out for me to be a way to get the attention of my senator. I am not a rude person and try to be careful to keep my frustration reigned in when I comment on others' Facebook pages whether or not I agree with them. But I think some things have to be said, some of them openly. So I've joined the Facebook pages of my senators.
Once I felt very strongly about an issue but felt it best to contact one of my senators "behind the scenes" in a private message, which I did. It got no response, but I wasn't surprised. He is a busy man. But, like others, I also made public comments to some of his posts. I disagreed with him on several issues along the way but not obnoxiously. Or at least not as blatantly and rudely as others do (though that does not excuse any impoliteness on my part).
Imagine my surprise when I received this private message from the good senator:
Thanks for all your posts on my Facebook site. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say.
I can't help but notice that every time you post you only have negative things to say about me. I'm trying my best to represent all (of our state's citizens) and I understand we are not always going to agree on every issue, but certainly there must be sometimes when I do things you believe are good.
Many days, when I do things I know you would normally approve of from most other representatives, I am surprised to find your daily vicious attack or underhanded jab at me once again. I continue to try and do what is right in absolutely everything I do. Perhaps you would be willing to post something nice or complimentary once in awhile.
It's up to you, but I was hopeful there would be a time you would actually like something I'm doing. I'm trying hard to please you.
Just a thought. I hope you're well.
(he signed his first name)
Ok, I have to say, I don't think I made any "vicious attacks" though I would have to admit to some "underhanded jabs". I was surprised that he wrote to me, and admit to feeling his chastisement, as polite as it was.
Here is my reply to him:
Dear Senator ( ),
I thank you for your kind note, and observation of the tone of my posts. I apologize for my public rudeness, but the private contacts I’ve made have been ignored. I have been writing, emailing and calling your office for a few years now. The responses I have gotten (when I received any) have always been a figurative pat on the head with a patronizing tone of “Now, now, thanks for writing but I know better than you.” I understand you have many, many years of service in the Senate, and I acknowledge the time and hard work with which you have served (our state), and thank you. But you have been there so long that I fear you do not see what has happened slowly up to this time, and now very rapidly as we reach the possible end of our Republic as we have known it. Trust me, Senator, I am not the only angry person in (our state). I am one of very many. If I can help you see what is happening before your very eyes, then perhaps you’ll find it in your heart to forgive my rudeness. And now that I have gotten your attention, I will no longer oppose you on your Facebook page.
Senator, I realize that you represent hundreds of thousands of people, of which I am only one. But your first obligation as a senator is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States so that we ALL may continue to enjoy the freedoms that are built into it and guaranteed by it.
Do you really understand why so many Republicans/Conservatives are showing up at Tea Parties and other political rallies these days? It’s not just the individual issues that are being protested (socialized medicine, the horrendous spending of the federal government, etc), it is what these bills as a whole will do to our freedoms. You may not believe this Senator, but Barack Obama is taking steps to totally dismantle our free republic. If you look at the big picture, at the steps he has already taken and at the ones coming at you so fast and furious that you can’t keep up with them, and if you look past that to see what will happen at the end of his road, it is the total collapse of our economic system. There is no compromising with these people. They mean to turn us into a socialist nation or worse with rampantly growing government control over every single facet of our lives – what we drive, what we eat, what doctors we can see, whether we can vote privately against a union in our workplace, whether we can afford to arm ourselves after the horrendous taxes they plan to slap on the ownership of guns and/or ammunition through some backdoor regulation. Can’t you see it, Senator?
I know you were doing the gentlemanly thing when you voted to confirm Cass Sunstein. In the old days (just a few years ago), I would have found no fault in that. But the people you are up against now are not gentlemanly. They are deceivers of the worst kind. They are sly and clever, and good, kind people such as yourself either can’t see that, or think you can do business as usual and all will be well. I think those days are past, Senator. You must quit compromising with those who wish to surrender our national sovereignty through clever regulation and treaties made through the United Nations – not thru the correct channels where you and others would have the opportunity to stop them, but through regulation within existing government departments by people like Cass Sunstein who have no authority to make these changes.
Joe Biden may very well be your friend. (Note: My post which elicited the Senator's message to me was regarding his being praised by the VP as one of the easiest Republicans to work with. I replied "Obviously VP Biden thinks of you as someone on their team. If that's the case, Senator, you're not on my team.) I believe in his heart he believes that the political philosophy he follows and promotes is the right one. He is undoubtedly a good person. But the agenda he is supporting through this president goes against everything you and I believe in and fought for and have promised to continue fighting for. I know you mean well, too, Senator. But you have gotten too close to the problem to see it.
Please step back and take a look at the big picture. Consider what all of this spending is doing to our country. You know in your heart it can’t go on. Consider the damage men like Cass Sunstein can do to us through regulation without the oversight of Congress, notwithstanding their “promises” not to. Please stop compromising away the precious few liberties that are still somewhat intact. These people are not making changes openly, but rather in cover of darkness. They’re keeping you so busy with 1000+ page bills that you cannot possibly read in the time they give you, that you can’t see what they are planning and scheming and carrying out behind the scenes.
I apologize for my rudeness, and I will no longer leave such messages on your Facebook. Believe it or not, it is not my nature to be unkind. I am so frightened for our country, and so frustrated at the seeming ignorance of those who serve in Congress that I don’t know what I can do to help stop the wave of socialism or worse that is threatening to destroy us. I've tried polite, respectful letters and email. They didn't seem to get through.
(my name and city)
Here are a few quotes that you are probably familiar with:
I have been preaching against Communism for twenty years. I still warn you against it, and I tell you that we are drifting toward it more rapidly now than some of us understand, and I tell you that when Communism comes, the ownership of things which are necessary to feed your families is going to be taken away from us. I tell you freedom of speech will go, freedom of the press will go, and freedom of religion will go. I have warned you against propaganda and hate. We are in the midst of the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen. Just do not believe all you read or hear. THE ELECT ARE BEING DECIEVED.
- Pres. J. Reuben Clark – CR Oct 1941
No greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.
- Pres. David O. McKay – CR April 1965
Our struggle is freedom versus socialism. The amount of freedom depends on the amount of socialism. America was built on the principles of self-reliance, individual action, voluntary charity, faith in God, and in themselves. Today these principles are not dominant in the life of the people. Too many Americans believe it is the responsibility of the government to take care of their every need. The government cannot give anything to the people that it does not first take from the people.
- Ezra Taft Benson – Four Pillars of a Moral Nation
You cannot fully live the gospel without working to save freedom and the Constitution, and to stop Communism.
- Ezra Taft Benson – CR Oct 1966
I would like to point out here to anyone of a different political persuasion than I, that this good man whom I respect personally, is a member of the same party to which I belong. I'm an "equal opportunity" complainer. I detest what George W. Bush and others of both political parties did to put us in the situation that we find ourselves in today. I think any of our public servants who has strayed from doing what is good for our country based on Constitutional principles needs to be called out and held accountable. At this juncture of our country's history, it is imperative that as good citizens we put party loyalties aside, consider the basic principles upon which this nation was founded (i.e. our Constitution), study out what is happening today that is counter to those principles by listening to varied news sources, and then do what we can to bring our local, state and federal government back in line with those principles.
It has been over six weeks since this exchange took place between the Senator and myself. He has not responded to what I wrote, but I hope that he received my message in the spirit it was intended. I'm not a rude person, but there are some things that need to be said to the people who represent us.