Call your Congressman! Call your Senator! (Good luck with that!)

By Jim George
| August 23, 2020

I recently read an article entitled “Queen Kamala’s Imperial Aspirations” and, given my opinion of “Kah-mahla”, which can only be accurately described in a way which would instantaneously get me disciplined or impeached, or whatever happens when one violates the C of C around here, the title grabbed me. I can definitely recommend reading the whole thing, although it appears in National Review and is, therefore, just a tad more Never Trumper for my taste, but nonetheless is a good discussion of how the Presidency seems to more and more attract those of an Imperial bent, like the execrable “Queen” herself, and why we need a much stronger legislative branch than we’ve had for many years.

The part of the piece which really got my attention, as it relates to experiences of my own in trying to communicate with “our betters” in the august Halls of Congress, was the following:

So whatever your political persuasion, the best thing you can possibly do this year is to phone up your senators and your representative, preferably at least once a week, and instruct them that no matter which party holds the White House, they must grow a backbone and stop acting like a craven lickspittle of the executive branch. This country is only going to function properly if we start to care a little bit less about the parties and a lot more about the branches of government. The only sure way to avoid handing executive power to megalomaniacs such as Kamala Harris in the future is to shrink the presidency so drastically that holding it no longer appeals to them.

Here is my question: is it just me, in my naivete (the use of that word for someone of my age is laughable) thinking we still have a “representative Republic” and still believing that our representatives in the National Legislature should respond to our requests for communication as part of their job description, or is that really a totally lost cause? I would be most interested in learning what kind of experience others have had in their attempts to get their Congressperson’s or Senator’s attention long enough to get an actual answer out of them, and not just a bowl of Pablum- filled form letter which was generated by a young staffer hitting what I imagine is a well worn key on the office computer.

I have been embarrassingly unsuccessful in getting my Congressman to send anything but the aforementioned form letters — as if to rub salt in the wound, the precise same form letter in all 3 instances over the last month or two, including the last request which covered about 3-4 different areas and in which I expressly requested, in what I thought was pretty clear language, that he not respond with a form letter!

At one point, I decided I would really go bold and call my Senator’s office and ask to speak with him personally. I posed the request to the apparently-very-young staffer (I know I’m “of a certain age”–truth be known, way beyond that level, but is it just my imagination, or do they all seem to very young?) and there was a measurable pause as if he might be thinking something like “I’ve never had that request before — someone actually wants The Senator–himself!– to get on the phone with this constituent! What next? Of course, after he recovered sufficiently, I was told how very, very, very busy my representative to one of the bodies of the National Legislature was at that moment but could he/she (who knows anymore?) have the ” fill in blank of some faceless aide” call me. I declined and asked when I could expect to talk with The Senator. The answer to that question was equally unsatisfactory, to be as polite as possible.

Is it just that what I thought was my former formidable charm may be finally wearing off or could it be that many others have had similar experiences in trying to voice their concerns and opinions to their duly elected representatives in the National Legislature? If this is no longer possible, at least for some in those exalted positions in Congress, can we still, with a straight face, continue to call ourselves a Representative Republic?

Who’s kidding whom?

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