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There are lots of ways.  Here are seven:

1) You can write him  a letter. You know, on paper, in an envelope, with a stamp.

2) You can send an electronic message

3) You can call

To do any of these see here

4) You can start a petition

5) You can tweet

6) You can blog

7) You can stay home on election day.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Well, writing (1 or 2) let you carefully craft a message, reference specific legislation, edit your words, and have a record of what you said. But they take time and are solitary (it's only you ..... although others may be doing the same, you don't know)

Phoning (3) is more immediate. You get to speak to someone. OK, it won't be Obama or a senior person, but it will be a person, and it's quicker than a letter.  It is also solitary.  Unlike a letter, you don't get to edit so much.

Petition (4) could gather a lot of names, and can be specific, but it's hard to get a lot of detail, or people won't read it, much less sign it.  And it's labor intensive.

Tweeting (5) is very fast and easy, and your tweets may get retweeted; some of my tweets get retweeted dozens of times. You're limited to 140 characters, though - but you can add links.  

Blogging (6) lets you get as detailed as you want, but it's hard to get an audience unless you're famous, or unless you are very good and lucky.  You can combine blogging and tweeting though.

Staying home on election day (7) well, what message does this send? Who knows?  Do you think the president (or anyone) can read our minds? Oh, Joe stayed home because Obama signed NDAA, and Bob stayed home cause he was sick, and Jane stayed home cause she was only going to vote for Paul. Carol wanted us to be more liberal.  Ted wanted us to be more conservative.

Who knows? No one.

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Comment Preferences

  •  politicians respond to fear of losing votes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, TJ

    it is like playing chicken. but it's true.

    As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

    by mightymouse on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 04:37:15 PM PST

    •  But which way do they respond? (10+ / 0-)

      I think they respond, but in the way opposite to the way we would want.  That is, if lefties stay home, Obama will move farther to the right.

      But there's no way to know, because there's no way for THEM to know why you stayed home.

      Although there is no way to know for sure, there is evidence that showing up works: Namely, the most progressive POTUSes of the last century all won huge victories (FDR, LBJ).  And, while Bush II didn't even win his first election and was a full RWNJ, that seems to be the exception.  Nixon, for instance, won a very close race, and, although he was evil and slimy and immoral, he also did some liberal things, for a Repub (he was certainly way left of the current crop).

      Obama '08 won a modest victory in terms of popular vote.

      Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

      by plf515 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 04:45:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we have a lot of guys here.... (5+ / 0-)

    ....who ignored girls that they liked in high school in the hopes that the girl would think, "Gee. is he mad at me? I wonder why? Maybe I should ask him!"

    Never worked then either.

    If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, then Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 04:58:57 PM PST

  •  What's interesting is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the first 6 are virtually always completely ineffectual, the functional equivalent of sending no message at all, and the final one is pretty much the same.

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 04:59:23 PM PST

    •  Do you have any evidence of that? (7+ / 0-)

      I admit, I don't have any to the contrary, either.

      I know that reps or their staff read and record messages and suggestions on issues (I have heard this from staffers and former staffers).  I think it sometimes influences them.  Why would they record the info and not use it?

      I write to my rep, Nadler, a lot. Usually I say "You're doing good!"

      I disagreed with him about impeaching Bush - he thought it was a bad idea, though he thought Bush had committed crimes. I did not change his mind, but we had an interesting discussion.

      Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

      by plf515 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:09:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, Gooserock

        I suppose it's possible that an elected official will hear from a constituent and change her or his mind. But I can't remember ever even changing the minds of friends and family members, at least not about anything in which they were even moderately invested, so I suspect it's vanishingly unlikely.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:16:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think what happens is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mapamp, Nova Land

          that if they hear from a LOT of people, with a huge majority in one direction, they may change their mind.

          I've changed people's minds a few times, first when I was 6 and I convinced a woman that corporal punishment was a bad idea.

          I changed the minds of people while I was campaigning for various people.

          Recently, I changed someone's mind on Twitter

          And, of course, some people are neutral on some issues.

          Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

          by plf515 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:23:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your Relatives Didn't Risk Losing Their Jobs If (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, mapamp, Nova Land

          they didn't keep a majority of the others relatives happy about what they were doing.

          Feedback has not historically been about changing reps' minds; that's as you say rare. What it's about is making them change the way they do their jobs.

          It's becoming unlikely today because the money is so vast an important that voter concerns are becoming less and less important to election and re-election.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:25:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Check out the form letter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the marijuana petition got.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:16:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know writing letters is good (4+ / 0-)

        from the time I worked in a state representative's office. The policy was to photocopy every letter and put a copy in any bill it referenced for the representative to have with them on the floor. Some bills had only a couple of letters, some were stuffed full.

        I don't know if any of these letters changed how the representatives voted, but I always felt sad for the bills with no letters. And I know that the representatives liked having the feedback cause the floor debate was piped into our office and I could hear several of them reference what their constituents thought of the bill being debated.

        Granted, state government is not the same as federal, but if you don't tell them, they don't know. Even when we don't persuade, we can express.

  •  FInd a Way to Sent That Msg To Those Who DID Stay (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, cassandracarolina, mapamp

    home and not those of us who warned that millions would, while we were being blamed for doing what they in fact actually did.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:22:45 PM PST

    •  I know of no way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land

      of targeting the message to those people.

      Lots of people read daily Kos (not only registered users). Maybe SOME of the people reading this are considering staying home.  I have no way of knowing

      But since you aren't considering that, then I wasn't targeting you.

      Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

      by plf515 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:40:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I sent him a letter and he read it (8+ / 0-)

    I was a bit creative about it and sent him the Obama/Biden bumper sticker off my car. He wrote me back, one of a few he writes every week. So people do read the mail sent to him.

  •  Wisconsin One had an answer to #7 in 2010 (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapamp, jalenth, plf515, Ohkwai, Nova Land

    For all the bitching I see about President Obama it just astounds me that people don't think ahead.

    If you don't like Obama, fine.  Why obstruct and harass people who do work for him? Thank of 2016.  Who do you want to be elected then?  How are you paving the way for that?

     Progressives work for change.   Register Democrats to vote and help get out the vote. Talk to people.  The only way we will have more progressive politicians is to educate the electorate and get them out to vote.  Russ Feingold couldn't even hold his seat in the Senate let alone get elected to be President.  

    The GOP would like nothing more than for us to feel powerless or afraid -- that way we can be manipulated like the idiots that watch Fox News are.  Fuck that.

    President Obama has done a great deal of good.  I read where the Wal-mart Walton family alone had as much money as the lower 30% of this country. I can't imagine the manipulation and push back that must go on behind the scenes.  This isn't a simple matter and one guy can't do it all.  I'm glad for every bit of good he does, but it's up to all of us working together to find solutions.

    Wisconsin ended up with Scott Walker -- I don't want to see any more of these idiots in government at all.  Wisconsin One's ad said it all to me.

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction … everything else requires time.” ~ First Lady, Michelle Obama

    by ParkRanger on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:54:45 PM PST

  •  Staying home is not an option no matter what the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Nova Land

    message you want to send is.

    Not only can Obama not read your minds, but you will be letting other people elect a President. Those other people will no doubt be rightwing crazies.

    That's how we ended up with a Rick Scott as Governor of Florida, and the people of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana ended up with their own rightwing crazies who are busy dismantling their hard won rights to earn a living wage.

  •  It's funny isn't it, that people stayed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Nova Land

    home in 2010 election to teach Democrats a lesson.  Thinking that if the politicians didn't give them all they wanted they'd be sorry.  What those who stayed home and those who decided maybe Republicans weren't that bad and voted for them now realize is,... they've been had.  They not only didn't get what they wanted from the Democrats, but they now lost what they already had under the Republicans rule.

    How's that working out?  This is a case of  cutting of your nose to spite your face.  

    President Obama may not have been able to deliver all the things for progressives he wanted to, but I believe he really has the average American people's best interest at heart.  We voted for the person who will make the necessary tough decisions even those we may not agree with, but at least he is looking out for us.  I can't say the same about the people running and who will eventually be the nominee of the Republican party.

  •  You forgot one. You can OCCUPY. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Nova Land
    Members from Occupy Omaha and Occupy Iowa City joined Occupy Des Moines with Veterans for Peace, the Catholic Worker community and the ICCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) and arrived early Saturday morning at Obama's state wide, but unmarked, campaign headquarters office to locked doors. At which time Occupy Des Moines and Veterans for Peace declared victory in successfully shutting down Obama's campaign office but vowed to stay and support the ICCI in their demonstrations . The ICCI got off their bus chanting"aqui estamos y no nos vamos" translated "here we are and we will not leave" and declaring themselves "immigrant welcoming communities"

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 02:58:11 AM PST

  •  Stay home? The Iowa Democratic Caucus is tonight. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why stay home when we can OCCUPY the Caucus?

    7) You can stay home on election day.

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 03:03:36 AM PST

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