Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Media Limitations

I am not happy with the way the House Republicans have acted in what is currently being called the "shutdown."  I have read a number of comments from others on the net that liken what the GOP is doing to some behavior we would never tolerate in our offices and clubs.  The most on target analogy came from a friend who posted the following. Assume you had a vote in your office about whether you could put a candy vending machine in your office.  The vote came out in support of the machine. Some people in the office were offended by this decision citing the deleterious effects of eating candy. However, thirty votes were taken to ensure that the majority did indeed want the machine. And each time the vote was Go Candy.  But some particularly annoyed office mates were adamant that there should be no candy and one of these people was the lead accountant. He decided he would stop signing checks until the candy machine was removed, the vote be damned.

Recently, I decided to voice my concerns and wrote to the GOP national committee.  My message was succinct. I wrote that I thought the House Republicans' behavior was shameful and that I could not see myself voting for the GOP in the future.

So, here is what happened.  Each day since the one when I e-mailed the committee, I receive an e-mail from a Republican who writes assuming that I am a comrade. He or she asks me, since I am--according to them, a supporter--if I would donate money to the Republican party.  So instead of getting my message, they get the exact opposite message, and put me on their mailing list as a Republican.

This does not bother me. I find it amusing. Each time I receive a note from the GOP, I respond to the author telling her or him that I find the behavior shameful and that I cannot see myself voting for a Republican in the future.  This has not seemed to stop the e-mails coming my way.  Just received another one about an hour ago.

New media is a wonderful thing. I can almost instantly send my messages to any place on the globe. The new media does not, however, guarantee that communication is necessarily improving.  In order for a rapidly sent message to be accurately received someone has to take the time to read it.

Maybe my experience is a microcosm of what is taking place in the United States. The majority of citizens do not want a shutdown but our representatives are not interested in listening to the protesting voices. Rather they use whatever noise they hear as a justification for their positions.  A myopic approach that.  In November of 2014 someone will count the votes.  The listeners are likely to stay in office.

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