I know it’s been awhile – to those tiny few who might read this.

I, in an awkward Don Quixote metaphor, hit a big windmill tonight.  After some time, some intense NPR binging, some ravenous* news-following, scouring sources, listening to Obama’s speeches, and Daily Show, and Obama opponents and the whole dog and pony show, even down to reading NCBI articles on uranium detection, I was finally moved by Obama’s interview with Jon Stewart, which I interpreted as, no matter what your feelings are regarding the Iran Deal, write your congressman.  Just write your congressman.  Congress can so easily be swayed by money and corruption and corporations and lobbyists.  But, my interpretation of Obama’s interview, overly optimistic, if people write their congressmen, then that can fight corruption, can fight influence, because these representatives not only are supposed to represent, but, you know, sorely care about those votes.

(* I originally wrote “ravid,” which I think was my brain combining ravenous and rabid, but I think it could work as a word.)

So I thought I would sit down and write my congressional representatives.  feel a part of the process.  a little guy tilting at a windmill to fight corruption, and make my voice heard…inwardly, in hopes of feeling that somehow, somewhere, what I think matters.

And I didn’t half-ass it.  I read journal articles on uranium detection.  The whole 158-page (several pages at the end are sources) Vienna-written “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” written July 14th, 2015.  (that, by the way, was not hard to find.  a Google search of “Iran Deal text” and I found a .pdf of the thing from several sources)  …and so on.

The odd part was that I still felt like an idiot because I know that Congressional bills have technical numerical names, like (the fictional…) HR 153 “of and pertaining to the resolution of marriage act” or something…  So I just wanted to know the technical codexed name of the thing, so that my representative might take me seriously, because “Iran Deal” was far too vague.  And yet that was what every news and media outlet I heard called it – you name it, I checked them out, CNN, NPR, Fox, CBS, even, which I consider pretty trustworthy amongst the field, relatively, The Associated Press.  Of all of the above, I recommend New York Times for their layman-friendly layout and in-depth coverage.  (plus, with Cosby, New York Times is on it)  Anyways….

So I took my time, I searched the’s archives.  My best guess at the title of the Iran Deal was S.615 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, but I’m still not 100% sure that’s it.  The text isn’t verbatim from the Vienna document.  And this one, like most congressional bills, is so thick with legalese, it makes it hard for a non-legalese person to read, even with my academic background.

I wrote a letter.  I’ll put it in the post tomorrow.  I did my level best to make it rational and logical, keep to the point, imply I have done my homework without bogging them down with an essay, try to keep it short so as not to lose the brief attention, even throw in some emotional appeals, though controlled and tethered to facts, and just risking slightly grandiose with a hint of patriotism and optimism at the end, to send the point home, while still being honest, factual, scientific, and myself.  I thought it was a pretty good letter.

Because I was proud of myself, because I wanted objective feedback, because I wanted to hear how it sounded from someone holding the opposite political stance, on this issue, as myself, I showed the letter to my mother.  …She at least read it.  That’s something.  But then, without even pausing, stated that she took the opposite position.

I don’t need to get into the whys and wherefores of that.  But a mini light bulb did go off for me.  If I can’t even persuade my mother of the argument I present, why bother writing to a politician? seriously, why?

yes, a stranger politician won’t have all the emotional baggage that exists (or can exist) within families.  and, to be completely cynical, a layperson may die for a cause they believe in, whereas probably most political sharks probably don’t give allegiance to anything, and just go with what gives them the most money and power in that moment.  therefore, more easily persuaded – if you have the right carrot.

But, on the other hand, your mother is supposed to love you, respect you, support you, all that …  and, if nothing else, to a stranger, you are just one little almost unnoticed voice amidst hundreds, thousands, millions, to family and friends, you are one amongst 20 or 10 or 5 or 1.  You supposedly mean something.

I rant either way.  But I can’t help but shake the thought, if I can’t persuade my own mother, then there is no point in writing to a politician.  That is how strong religious and political views are.  Those apparently come first.  Before love, before family, before friend, before neighbor, before anything.

and this, in a larger sense, is where America in the 2010s is at, this hyperpartisanship.  No one reaches across the aisle.  No one dares.  Everyone knows this no-compromise double-down refuse to even consider considering another point of view attitude is harming everyone, but no one dares fight it.  or if people do…well, it takes two to tango, takes two to compromise.

Because if one side is willing to listen to the other side, willing to compromise, willing to try and understand where they are coming from, and even maybe change their position some – but the other side isn’t – then the non-compromising side “wins” by sheer force of will.

It reminds me of the Bread Buttered Up, Bread Buttered Down book by Seuss or the black on one side white on the other conflict in original Star Trek and so on.  But here we are.  here I am.



and that’s my pseudo-political meaningless rant for the night.

sorry for the futility and grumpiness.

(also, having reached peak market penetration, this is a real thing, I saw a Grumpy Cat cappuccino, grumpaccino, in a grocery store the other day.  I did buy it.  and it was pretty good.  and epitomized me in the morning.  guess I’m a corporate whore, or have been brainwashed to be.  but you played to my love-of-cat weakness…)




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