Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Politicians Communication Shortcomings

Have you communicated lately via letter, phone, email with some entity you didn't know regarding business, eliciting a request for information, or expressing an opinion on important social and political issues?

I have infrequently done all of the above through the years, but probably not often enough to any one person that they would remember me from one time to the next. I would estimate that anywhere from eighty to ninety percent of the time, the responses I receive are generally timely and satisfactory. But then, there are those others.

I've been thinking about writing my congressperson, even though I'm pretty confident he is going to toe his political party line on behalf of big business on the matter about which I'm interested. I just can't help thinking, maybe -- just maybe -- he really did perceive the message voters sent that the policies he has been promoting these past seven years have quite fallen out of favor with many more of his supporters, and my views just might be worth paying more attention to now. I suppose his giving credence to my views is just too much to hope for, but hope springs eternal for me. Actually, hope seems to be about all with which I'm left on so many issues today.

The reason I'm hesitating about contacting him is my past experience of doing so has been very frustrating and confusing. This once quite powerful U.S. House Representative, when his political party was in control, I guess has been ill-served by his aides, at least in how they've communicated with me on his behalf. Yes, I do receive replicated hand-written form responses from him, but I don't quite know what to make of them. The content is often very non-specific, and all too often even unrelated to the subject matter of my query.

The first time this happened, I thought it must be a mistake, confusing my message with another's. Then, after such instances repeated through the years, on a variety of different topics, I decided differently. I could only conclude there was no real interest in my issue and wondered what statistical category and pile for form letters my message got tossed into. I wondered what information his aides were really giving him about constituents' communiques. Apparently, all I really accomplished was giving his office an excuse to send me whatever written agenda he was promoting at the time, for that is all I received, along with his thanks for my having contacted him in the first place.

I don't know what you think, but I would rather have no response, than an obviously mechanized one that couldn't even be considered utilitarian since the subject matter was unrelated to my query. I do wonder, if others perceive they are more successful having their views and opinions given serious consideration by those who profess to represent their interests?


  1. I, too , had similar responses from my Republican Representatives; that is, if I got one at all. Since my query was usually a criticism of their actions I do wonder if it was intentional.

    I now have a Senator, Gabrielle Giffords D. Ariz, who always responds and gives her reasoning on the subject matter. Her responses are, of necessity, mechanized but they are timely and complete. I hope she doesn't become jaded with the demands of her job.

  2. I have not tried to communicate with anyone in govenrment in a long time, mainly because the few times I did, the responses were less than satisfactory. Just as you experienced, the responses I got were not related to the questions I asked.

  3. After anthrax, mail became irrelevant I think. Hillary Clinton's office won't touch it. You have to send faxes.

    I think emails are just as ignored.

    And you wonder why Congress is "out of touch"???

  4. My experience is very similar Joarad...I'll get something Waaaay after the fact and it will not really deal with my original queery or critique...It all seems totally mechanically generated, and unspecific in the extreme....

    It is so interesting, Just today I recieved a letter from See's Candy...I had ordered something by phone to be delivered to friends for Thanksgiving, and had asked about a very specific item being made in Dark Chocolate---in fact TWO items, I was told NO, these were not made in Dark Chocolate, I said, Maybe you could suggest that to whomever...? And she said she would pass it on to the powers that be. The letter I recieved today was thanking me for my suggestions, naming accurately the two items I suggested be made in Dark Chocolate...I had made this suggestions not three days ago! Now THAT'S GOOD Business! Do you think anyone has ever reveived anything like that kind of specific comment on their suggestions from any of our elected representatives??? I Don't Think So.