I figure one of the responsibilities of living in this country is to participate in the political process. I don't march or protest but I always vote and occasionally send an email or make a phone call.
With all the campaign hoopla about the national debt, I recently wrote about the cost of the war in the Middle East. Now that the publicly-stated mission (getting bin Laden) has truly been accomplished, I see no reason for us to remain in an area that is, historically, untenable. After all, if Alexander the Great, Queen Victoria, and the Russians couldn't conquer Afghanistan, it's a safe bet we won't either.
Bringing our soldiers home would be a comfort to their families plus it would save us a ton of money - money we could use for other things including caring for our troops. According to The Washington Post (The Washington Post article of June 21, 2011), the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost this country more than $3 trillion. So, a couple of months ago, I wrote to voice my opinion on this matter.
I eventually received replies. One letter expressed an opinion on the health care bill and the other assured me of support for any legislation that put more controls on banks.
Wait - I didn't write about those topics. I wrote about bringing our troops home and taking proper care of them when they get here.
In sending me a form letter that has no bearing on what I wrote, my representatives' staffs indicated that they a) do not read what their constituents send, and b) are only interested in certain key issues that will be hot during the campaign. Apparently war is not as important as other matters? Or perhaps I am not entitled to have an opinion on that topic?
Would it have helped if I had enclosed a big, fat check?