6 July, 2017
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
By my count, this is my one hundredth letter to you since January 25th, when the first one was mailed. That’s quite a record, if I may say it myself. Each one was hand-signed, hand-addressed, and sent in the US mail. In return, I have received some half dozen boilerplate letters sent via email, but not one personal response.
I do wonder what happens to my letters. I am not naïve enough to nurse illusions about you actually reading them—which is why I post them almost daily on the blog, The Rohrabacher Letters, and link to the site via social media. The letters are intended for your eyes, of course; but also, failing that, to raise consciousness amongst others than yourself. And I’m happy to report that they have a growing readership. My main purpose in writing them is to do my part to make a difference here in Orange County.
And still I wonder what happens to the letters. Their sheer quantity—along with the hand-addressed envelopes—must surely have attracted the attention of someone in your office. Just possibly, a member of your staff might have mentioned them to you? Perhaps even have brought a sample to your attention? What does it mean to you that a constituent takes the trouble to write and mail a hundred letters in the course of six months? Does it mean more, or less, than the petitions that you must receive? Does it speak to you in any personal way? Do you hear the sense of urgency and commitment that motivates them?
For my part—I’ll be honest—I’d welcome even a token personal response. Self-importance aside, I feel that the effort warrants some small recognition other than those long, tedious, issue-driven boilerplate responses. A signed note, perhaps? We disagree on virtually everything, but a nod in my direction would suggest that you actually care about your constituents and their opinions.
Peter Clothier, Ph.D.