Invitation to Stand up in American politics
September 1, 2017
I am not sure about you, but I am not fond of politics. Given the choice of spending time talking about flying a super cub or talking politics...I'll choose super cubs! Besides, talking about politics is dangerous territory.
Unfortunately, there are times when we just have to get involved with the political system and let our elected of cials know how we feel. I have to admit that before becoming involved with the Minnesota Pilots Association, I rarely called or wrote to those who represented my home turf. That is not what I learned in high school civics class, though. We live in a Democracy. What a privilege that is for us! This brings me back to the (disappointing) fact that, in the past, I rarely wrote or called my representatives to give my input on issues.
This all changed when I assumed a leadership role in the MN Pilots Association. I still disdain politics. I still run the other direction from a political discussion...unless it involves things dear to my heart. Like health care. Like aviation. With this personal transformation I have gained some insight into the political process that is important in making changes in our world.
I have been intimidated by the thought of having to discuss/argue a particular issue with a legislator. I soon learned the legislator doesn't answer the phone themselves. No. The person who answers the phone is likely a young person who has aspirations of entering politics. They know their job, when they answer the phone, which is to get the: 1.caller's name; 2. the callers mailing address (do they live in their bosses district?); 3. What bill are they calling about; 4. Do they want my boss to vote for or against the bill in question? Folks, it is as simple and direct as that. They don't ask "Why do you think Representative Paulsen should vote for this bill?" No. They are to tally the phone calls, they are to provide an impression of the "pulse" of the representative's constituency on a specific bill. It is really very simple, non-intimidating. Try it. You will see what I mean. It is important.
You can also sit down and write a letter, or an email, and express your pleasure as to how they should vote for you. They are your proxy, you know. A letter may carry a bit more weight, but I know I feel it to be necessary to explain why I feel the way I do. I am not sure that is a correct assumption. It takes more time to write a letter and post it. It takes less time to compose and send an email. It takes even less time to call to speak to your proxy's proxy. I tend to do both...write to them and call them. Belt and suspenders approach to getting'er done.
So, the next time you get an email from the MN Pilots Assn asking you to let your legislators know your thoughts, Just Do It! We need the largest collective voice we can get!