So, a few years ago, I was sent a request from the Department of Education to take a survey for the White House about how I felt about education. Being a Title I teacher at the time, I sent them a long and detailed response. Awhile later, I sent some letters to senators and others about reproductive rights, education and environmental concerns. I wanted to feel like I was part of the greater good, however I could be. However, what that does is get subscribed to who knows how many mailing lists, all begging for money. Constantly.
Recently, I have been bombarded, sometimes several times a day, with emails begging for donations to “combat the Tea Party.” One day I got EIGHT emails. I don’t want to give them money to begin with, even if I did have any. I voted for Obama the first time, because while I liked McCain fine, as my friend put it, “Sarah Palin can’t be the first female anything.” I couldn’t bear the thought of him dying and Palin having any power. And I hoped that maybe something would change. Mainly, what I wanted was changes to education–removing No Child Left Behind so that teachers could do their jobs, for instance. I wanted greater care taken with the environment. I wanted tightening and better funding of social services and services for child abuse, poverty and childcare for low income families. I was bitterly disappointed to see “Race to the Top” appear, (which was NCLB v2.0) and nothing else. Later, we got the Common Core, which, like so many things, was a good idea that was disastrous upon implementation.
But, I tried, and hoped for the best. I wanted healthcare reform, but was disappointed with the results. It’s certainly a step forward, I think, but not at all what I wanted. (And don’t tell me it’s socialist healthcare. It’s not. I HAD socialist healthcare when I lived in Asia, and it was the best healthcare I ever had. I want it back.)
The second election…I really should have voted for Gary Johnson, because he was who I actually agreed with about most things, but I worried about who would actually win. I resolve to vote my conscience from here on out. I am deeply disappointed in both parties for their lack of functionality. My kindergartners functioned more cohesively.
I also HATE being asked for money. I hate being pestered about charities, I hate being begged for money for politics, hate being pestered to buy things I don’t want. I don’t care what you do with your money, but I know where I want mine going. That’s schools, domestic violence programs, and programs for at-risk kids.
So, here we are. When yet again today I got three emails about giving the Democrats money, I unsubscribed from the list. They first sent me a link to watch a video about being a Democrat, in case I forgot, I suppose, and an offer of a free I (heart) Obamacare! bumper sticker. I declined, since I don’t feel like being punched in the face when I go to the grocery store. (It’s not a popular program in my town, sorry) There was a place to add a note, so I wrote this: “I am tired of being pestered for money. As a former Title I teacher, I am deeply disappointed in the lack of education reform; teachers receive so little support with the requirements and budget cuts that many strong teachers are fleeing. As a parent, I am deeply disappointed in the lack of environmental protections, and worry for my children’s futures. Thus, I am taking the requested money and using it to buy school supplies for local schools, where I know the money will be put to good use.”
I feel better now. I’m sure they’ll listen to it as much as they listened to my other letters, which is not at all, but I feel better anyway. (Although I give credit to Senator Mark Udall, who did actually respond to everything I wrote, so I’ll vote for him again.)
My father wrote a similar letter to the Republican party, when they mailed him a letter which said, “We noticed that you haven’t donated any money to us this year. here’s a envelope.” He replied, “I’m surprised that the ‘fiscally conservative’ party who wants to protect my money thinks they’re entitled to it. I’m pretty sure the Democratic party is free.”
Is it too much to hope for that we might one day have a functional third party in the government?