Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A letter to my local radio station

Mr. Cates;

Having been a listener to your show for a while now I’ve tried to call in several times, but have been greeted each time by the dreaded “busy signal.”

Having said that, I have something I’d like to say. And while I’d love for you to read this on the air, I realize the odds of that happening are somewhere along the lines of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) actually producing a black hole. It is possible in theory, but I shouldn’t like to hold my breath waiting for it. Yes, it could happen … in a few hundred trillion years or so. Give or take a ten billion.

The United States is facing a number of crises right now, and one of the most pressing is the crisis of apathy. You’ve met these people as you go through life: they are the people who will tell you that the politicians on both sides of the aisle are out of control … and then promptly do nothing about it.

Mr. Cates; this next is not for effect, I sincerely believe this. If I had a dime for every person who said that this ‘health care reform’ was a bad idea and then did nothing, I’d have several thousand dollars which I could put to good use.

Sure, talking to the radio (or screaming at it) has told your radio how you feel, but what have you actually accomplished? Is your radio going to contact those politicians and tell them how dissatisfied you are?

Not very likely.

The same goes for those people who only shout at the television or only tell their friends how they feel. Again, have you actually accomplished anything?

Mr. Cates, I wonder how many of those people who have called your show have actually called their politician? How many have actually written them? How many have emailed them? How many have written about it on their blogs or on a social networking site?

Not too many.

This, then, is the crisis of apathy. Mr. Cates, I realize that, unless we all live in caves, we’ve all got busy lives that we live. I’m no different in that regard in that I have my own life I need to live. But if somebody’s going to tell me they can’t spend five minutes emailing their representative or calling them or writing them, I’m going to tell them the same thing I told my supervisor at work when she told me she couldn’t cobble together 30 free minutes in a month.

I pulled her into a room, closed the door and told her “You’re a (goshdarn) liar. Now let’s try this again, only this time tell the truth. It’ll go much better that way.” (Only I didn’t say ‘goshdarn.’)

You might’ve noticed Mr. Cates that I’m not afraid to be blunt. Frankly, more people need to be … at least in my opinion.

The Founding Fathers said as much when they wrote this: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (emphasis added) (*1)

What does this mean in ‘modern’ English? Simple: It means that those who have the ability to make a change have the responsibility to do so. Now there’s a Politically Incorrect word: responsibility. Plenty of people these days can tell me (and you as it turns out) about their ‘rights,’ yet mighty few mention their responsibilities. Here’s a news flash: your responsibilities come with your rights. They cannot, they must not be divorced from one another.

Even our elected officials are to blame. How many of them were ready to use the “Slaughter Solution” and to ‘deem’ the health care legislation as passed without having to vote on it? Therein lies another “problem,” the United States Constitution.

Specifically Article I Section VII which reads in part: “Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it.” (*2) You’ll notice it didn’t mention that a bill was ‘deemed’ to have passed, yet many politicians were ready to throw away the Constitution until a number of people, myself included, made them aware of Article I Section VII.

What am I leading up to Mr. Cates? This: Those that have the ability to make a change (the People) have the responsibility to do so. If you can make it to a Tea Party protest, you have the responsibility to do so. If you have the ability to write or otherwise inform your representative (or Congressperson) you have the responsibility to do so.

As Martin Luther King once said: “There is a special place in Hell reserved for those who stand by and do nothing.”

And in my book, Mr. Cates, those that have the ability to do something … but through inaction do nothing have abrogated (*4) their right to complain.

People these days are too interested about sports. They’re too interested about who Tiger Woods is sleeping with. They’re too interested in who Jesse James is bedding. These are not the things we need to be worried about, Mr. Cates.

So if you’ve read this on the air, I’d be very interested to hear what your audience thinks.

It’s time to get off the toilet, folks. It’s time to stop complaining to the television.

It’s time to get involved.


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