February 25, 2017

Beginning My Postcard Campaign

Indiana, Pennsylvania, appears to be something of a backwater as far as resistance to the Trump administration is concerned. I have had no opportunity to march in anti-Trump rallies or to demonstrate at the local congressional office. I don’t, however, want to be left out of the effort to rescue the country from the fascist moron who presently resides in the White House.

I write essays here, of course, and I post on Facebook, but my audience is largely a sympathetic one that I have no real need to convert. What I can do is try to influence my representatives in Congress, the people who can disrupt the ill-conceived projects of the president and, at some future time, participate in removing him from office.

From time to time, I have written my senators and representative about one thing or another. But ever since the anthrax scare, delivery of letters is delayed by some mysterious process intended to assure the safety of their recipients. Using the telephone is quicker, but congressional telephones have been tied up lately with angry citizens trying to get through to their legislators. Congressional staffers have been too busy to listen to phone mail messages. No doubt, e-mail messages are sometimes ignored for the same reason.

Having taken in a good deal of advice about how to get the attention of Washington legislators, I have decided that my mechanism of choice will be the postcard. A postcard clearly poses no physical danger, tends to stand out in the usual pile of mail, and is easy to digest, since its message is necessarily brief. Sending a postcard to a regional office, rather than to a Washington one, increases the chance that the message will actually be read by someone in a timely fashion and communicated, if only as a statistic, to its intended recipient.

The other day, I bought 10 postcards at the post office. I was happy to see that postcards now carry “forever” postage. I still have a few postcards from days gone by carrying various amounts of postage. I never seem to have the proper stamps to add so that I can actually use them.

My next step was to gather the address of nearby regional offices of my senators and representative. Using Google, these were easy to find, and I assume this information is readily available for all members of Congress.

I created a Microsoft Word template for printing my postcards. Printing addresses and messages on my printer is easier than writing cards by hand. The text is easily edited and easy to read. If necessary, by adjusting the font size, I can cram a good deal of text on a 5½" x 3½" card. There is reason to be concise, however, and not try to say too much. There can be other postcards to communicate additional thoughts. Of course, I sign my missives by hand.

My first batch of postcards advised that no money be appropriated for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and no money be appropriated for additional personnel to monitor the border or to round up people not in the country legally. The billions the president intends to spend for these purposes could be better employed on other tasks, such as repairing and improving infrastructure.

I may never know how effective my postcard campaign is, but it seems worth pursuing. Others may wish to join me in this pursuit.

February 8, 2017

Collect for a Troubled Nation

I recently wrote a collect “For a Troubled Nation.” It represents an admittedly liberal Episcopalian’s liturgical response to the advent of the Trump administration. After receiving feedback concerning my first draft from Episcopalian friends on Facebook, I revised the prayer. The current text is:
For a Troubled Nation

God of justice and mercy, who delivered your people from the oppression of Pharaoh, protect us from greed, ignorance, and malevolence in our political leaders, and help us make our nation one of peace, liberty, and justice, in harmony with your creation and exhibiting the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I have written about this collect on Lionel Deimel’s Farrago, where I have argued that such a prayer is needed, even though the Book of Common Prayer contains prayers for government. You can read “Collect for a Troubled Nation” here, and I suggest you do so before offering any criticism. This post is really intended primarily as a pointer to the essay on my Web site.

I consider this prayer a work in progress, so comments are welcome. If you use this prayer in any context, I would appreciate knowing.

February 7, 2017

Trump Haiku

I was on jury duty yesterday. If you have ever been on jury duty, you know that there is lots of down time while waiting to learn if you will be assigned to a jury. During one of these slack periods, I began writing haiku related to Donald Trump and his administration. I wrote more haiku today and added a “Trump Haiku” page on Lionel Deimel’s Farrago.

If you want to read my haiku, please follow the link above. Here, I will give you a sample:
                                             Tremendous idea:
                                             A wall to keep out rapists,
                                             Avocados, too.
There are eight other poems on my Web site.