That is a very good question and one that has been asked and answered many times in our history over issues that have divided us, such as slavery, woman’s suffrage, civil rights and states rights.
Big things always start with a small number of committed, idealistic people who want to “do the right thing for the country”.
The issue we have to fix right now is the crushing amount of debt we are piling on to our children and grandchildren’s heads. It is no laughing matter. Nations, republics and empires have succumbed to the pressures of debt over recorded time, perhaps even more so than the numbers which have succumbed to invading forces and conquerors.
The internet/telecommunications technology of today is perfectly suited to conduct a massive political action/outreach program. Information can be transmitted instantly around the nation via email, internet, blogs, text message, IM, Twitter, Facebook and God only knows what other means of communications younger people of today have already mastered and have up their sleeves.
You may have seen the grassroots campaign building through the internet to send a tea bag to Washington on April 15 to protest the higher taxes that have been proposed by the Obama Administration.
I hope it works….it has great “eye appeal” and symbolism with the Boston Tea Party of 1773.
But after serving on Capitol Hill for close to 12 years and being around Washington for 22 years in total, I know that there is nothing more terrifying to any elected official and their staff in the House or the Senate than to be swamped by letters or emails suddenly on an unexpected issue in numbers way above the ordinary volume. They take notice and say to themselves: “Something unusual is going on ‘out there’ in the real-world and I’d better pay attention to it or else I might not be here after the next election!”
And when the American public gets their elected officials knocked back on their heels like that, they respond and they respond very quickly.
Here is something that you can do right now that might have the same impact as the “tea party” campaign but with more of a punch to the solar plexus and a baseball bat-to-the-head kind of impact on your elected leaders:
- Click on the US House and US Senate links to the right of this column and find your elected Senators and Congressional Representative.
- Type in your contact information in the appropriate form.
- Type in this very simple but powerful message that even the dimmest bulb in Congress will understand and appreciate, as soon as a critical mass of registered voters say the same thing:
“I will not vote for you in the next election unless you have voted to stop increasing the national debt on me and my children and grandchildren.”
And then forward this to all your friends and tell them to do the same thing. (you can use the "Email to a Friend" feature at the end of this article below)
Let’s aim to get 100,000 emails per congressional office and 1 million per US Senate office. That oughta just about do the trick.
This message is a pretty blunt instrument to use but it captures everything everyone is upset about right now: the lack of fiscal responsibility, forbearance of responsible oversight; lack of contingency planning and outright ignorance, or worse, deliberate neglect of pending problems that escalated way out of control.
Will this idea change things overnight? Nope. It won’t change things if only 10 or 100 people per
congressional district do it. But when the numbers start reaching 10,000 or 25,000 or 100,000 per district and, let’s say, 1 million emails per US Senate office, you will start to see and hear your elected leaders start to say and do things differently.
And that is what we all want, right?
After all, they are all the ‘geniuses’ who wanted those jobs in the first place and convinced 50%+1 of the registered voters in each race that they were “up to the job” and “could solve all of our problems”.
So just ‘tell them’ you want them to solve the national debt crisis and leave it up to them to figure out how best to do it. That is why we sent them to Washington, isn’t it?
I don’t need to know who you send it to. I’ll be able to see the results for myself in about a month if everyone forwards this message in the most important cyber-petition you will ever participate in.