Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An Open Letter To Congressman Donald Manzullo,

Today I opened my yahoo account to find this email from my Congressman, sent in response to an email I sent nearly two months ago regarding the Pledge Of Allegiance:

"Dear Charlene,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. It is good to hear from you. Representative Todd Akin introduced H.R. 2389, the Pledge Protection Act of 2005, on May 5, 2005. H.R. 2389 amends the federal judicial code to deny federal courts jurisdiction over any claim involving the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution. I am a proud cosponsor of this legislation. Those seeking to eradicate the acknowledgment of God from the public square undermine the foundational principles of our nation. In drafting the Declaration of the Independence, and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers looked to "the Law of Nature and Nature's God." Judeo-Christian moral principles cannot be divorced from our national history without rewriting history. Yet, that is exactly what many judges are trying to do by manipulating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to make historically absurd rulings like the recent cases banning the pledge of allegiance because of the phrase "under God." H.R. 2389 would prevent these types of ruling by preventing federal courts from deciding cases involving the Pledge. On June 6, 2006, the House Judiciary Committee reviewed H.R. 2389, but it failed to report the measure out of committee for consideration by the whole House. Please rest assured that should this or any similar legislation be considered in the future, I will give it my utmost support. Thank you again for contacting me on this issue. Your input is important to my work here in Wahington.
Donald A. Manzullo

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(The Declaration of the Independance?!)
(Is foundational even a word?!)

So I sent this email in response, which I am posting here as an open letter to Mr Manzullo, in the hopes that somehow, he will see it:

Dear Mr Manzullo,
Do you even read your email? Does anyone in your office do anything more than scan the subject lines? You were elected to REPRESENT the people, yet you ignore what we say! It is obvious from your reply to my previous letter (see below) that you have no idea what the hell you were replying to. The words "under God" were ADDED to the pledge in the 50's, they are absolutely no reflection on the founding fathers or their intentions. They were added as PR for the fight against "Godless Communists". I was asking that you try very very hard to see this issue from the other side. This world, and this country, are NOT Judeo-Christian. The U.S. is Judeo-Christian-Muslim-Buddhist-Hindu-Pagan-atheist. And ALL people should be represented equally. Your religion should not be pushed on my child any more than mine should be pushed on your kids. How long would this very debate rage on if the words in question were "under THE gods"?
I may have only one vote, but so do you. And I can assure you that when I enter that booth next month, yours will not be the name I cast my ballot for. This is the second email I have received from you that has blatantly shown that you have NO concern whatsoever for what your constituents say. I do you the honor and show you the respect of reading the form-letter tripe you send me. Show me the same respect, you worthless hollow party-line slave.

Charlene Melton,
Recently reminded of why I register Democrat

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Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject of the Pledge, does it bother anyone else that this guy obviously never even read my email? I mean, sure, he's probably a busy guy, but shouldn't he have some staffer whose job it is to read through emails and reply with an appropriate response? If the thing had said, "Fuck you you liberal commie," at least I would have known that he read it. But this "Thank you for your support" bullshit is ridiculous! This is pretty much the same letter I got from him after my gay-rights email. These guys are supposed to represent US, the people in their districts. It's sad enough when no one is surprised at headlines outing them for corruption or bribery or adultery, but this is a new low. It's an election year! Isn't this the one time when they are supposed to at least pretend to care what we think?

Politics is a sore subject for me. I watch the news, my google homepage is full CNN, MSNBC, and Reuters, but it never ceases to amaze me how much stupidity there is in our nation's capital. Corruption is, sadly, par for the course. But the contradictions these guys will spout off within the same speech, the BS they expect us to believe, is the single reason why the ONLY talking head I will watch anymore, is Jon Stewart. Remember that guy in school, the tall one with the letterman jacket and clorox teeth and IQ of 20? That guy runs our country. That one guy, cloned in a secret Washington laboratory, is running around in a pinstripe suit carrying a briefcase full of mad-libs to pass the time during filibusters.

Every year my kid gets President's Day off. Every year she spends the week before the holiday filling out workbooks and reading stories about cherry trees and log cabins and wooden teeth and slavery. In 200 years, who from the last century is going to be added to those workbooks? Is Clinton going to be? Nope, too scandalous. Either President Bush? Nope, too stupid. (Plus, one puked on the Prime Minister of Japan, which was really funny but not quite respect-worthy.) I truly believe that the only president who will ever be added to President's Day will be the next "first". The first Jewish president. The first black president. The first female president. But they don't do anything noble anymore. Lincoln stood up for what was right, against popular opinion, by ending slavery. No president today will stand up for anything unless they have fifty financial supporters and a hundred lobbyists holding them upright at the podium. Equal rights for gays? We need a popular vote. But go to war? Well the oil companies and weapons manufacturers say it's cool, so let's do it!

What we need to do is ban all political ads, all campaign tours, all financial contributions over $50. Give the polititians a LOT more network and radio airtime, and hold a LOT more debates, with questions submitted by the voters. Take away the negotiations over what can be asked and what can't, and fine them talk-time for anything negative they say about their opponents. Redesign the system so that ANYONE can run for an office, without having to fund cross-country tours and ad campaigns. Make it easier for an average guy to get his position out without having to tow a party line to secure party endorsement. Presidents used to be the best of the population. Now they're whoever has the money and the connections to play the game. That's why, in my opinion, we have such door-mats running the country.

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