The Collected Works of Dominic Gwinn

The End is Near: Start Bitching to the Right People

Posted in Advice, Advocate Archives, Politics by Dominic Gwinn on December 23, 2005

Your apathy will be the downfall of our entire society. Thanks to your ignorance on current events, our elected officials are allowed to run amok, doing as they please, with little repercussion. Were it not for the media which you regularly criticize, you wouldn’t even know what the officials you forgot to elect were doing with the money that you gave them for taxes.

I challenge any one with any grievance towards the political system, large or small, to write your representatives. Not an email, not a note, but an old fashioned, well thought out and properly edited letter.

Spend the thirty-seven cents it costs to buy a stamp, slap it on an envelope and mail it to their office’s, which, by the way, are all easily accessible on the Internet. It might sound archaic, but this is the best way to tell ‘the man’ what you really think about the country, state or county that you live in.

Think about it, your friends usually don’t know when you have a personal problem unless you open your mouth and say something, so how are your representatives supposed to know that the roads in your neighborhood never got plowed when it snowed?

Words have no faces or pictures. The only thing the written word has is the power to make you think. Based on your writing, someone can tell how passionate you are about something. If it’s something you feel that strongly about, why are you writing about it in a blog or complaining to your friends over diner? They might care enough to listen, but they probably don’t sit on any seat of power capable of doing anything about it.

There’s a fairly thought provoking focus on the Student Senate this issue and you’d do yourself a disservice not to read it. Keep in mind, however, that it’s up to you as the reader to draw your own conclusions. We’re a newspaper, we report the facts, you’re the reader, you’re supposed to react as a result of what what we’re reporting to you.

Your level of involvement in government will only take you as far as you let it. If you’re just upset that your neighbors have a rusting car parts in the middle of the yard, tell your neighborhood association if you have one; if you don’t, start a petition to create one.

If you think that the U.S. should get out of Iraq, write Congress and/or the Senate, don’t just go to the protest and pick up a button. If you think that you can do a better job than whomever is in office now, what’s stopping you from you from running for office? If you’ve got some type of idea on how to better run the government, speak up already!

This world thrives on rebellion and change. The Earth as we know it today was formed through a series of changes over time, and the most notable changes in society stem from one persons problems with society’s direction. Racism was defeated because enough people spoke out, women and minorities were granted suffrage through bitter protest. Nothing ever stays the same for long because change is inevitable, but sometimes, change needs a catalyst.

This article appears in the seventh (7th) issue of the Montgomery Advocate, the student newspaper of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland Wednesday, December 8th, 2005. It is an excerpt from my biweekly editorial and was posted with my permission.

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