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We Should All Write More…

March 6, 2012

…And not just online, to each other.

I just finished up attending a meeting of progressives at school and we had a guest visit from Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D – TX25).

An all around lovely visit with questions and comments about the environment, reaching out to voters, and some post-SOPA discussion. An individual raised the question to Doggett of what sort of impact those mass online protests “sign here please/all we need is your name” things actually have on politics.

Doggett spoke about how maybe old-fashioned letter writing is something we should all get nostalgic about, noting how few paper letters they get these days in the office and how it definitely makes whatever message you’re sending stand out.

This, of course, got me thinking about the recent Ms. magazine twitter bombing of (stupid, obnoxious, please stop talking on a public forum…*cough*) Rush Limbaugh and the people who advertise with him. And the epic success Ms. has had at this effort under the hashtags #StopRush and #FlushRush. One sponsor (LifeLock) explains on the Huffington Post why they’re sticking with Rush.

But all of this really does bring about the question of new vs. old in campaigning and activism. Online, offline? Welp, Doggett promotes using both (as we all probably would). But, even seeing Ms.’s success makes me wonder if hand-written letter writing should be something we bring back a little more. I know the trees wouldn’t be happy about it but I do think there is something to be said for a politician getting a hand-written note from someone.

For the record, I normally look at the letter I'm writing a little more than this woman. I feel like it's generally helpful.

I also am a little biased. For much of my middle school and high school days I would write letters to the president (mostly because I could, and that sort of made me giggle). I had also heard somehow (don’t know if this is true) that your letter doesn’t even get a chance of getting onto the president’s desk unless it is handwritten. Needless to say, when I would sit down to write these letters, my parents were a little worried (and let’s be real, it’s so archaic that everyone gives you a sideways glance of “omg, is that person the next unabomber?!” when you write letters).

I’ve been a little busy these days online to write letter to the prez but maybe I’ll pick the habit up again. It is still sort of fascinating to imagine Obama reading a letter I wrote to him and with all my homework I rarely sleep anyway, might as well jot a couple of things down (and I encourage all of you to do so as well!)


As an aside, the International Women’s Day March was a success and I’ll be going to a Planned Parenthood rally tomorrow and a performance of Vagina Monologues. (March truly is a wonderful month!)

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