e-mail doesn’t change laws

If you’re like me, you receive several e-mails every week from some friend or relative plugging some cause and including a call to action like, “make your voice heard, forward this e-mail to everyone you know”.

Most such messages I receive are about U.S. immigration policies. But I also receive messages like, “put Christ back in Christmas”, or “don’t vote for this politician”, or “this guy kills babies”. And I actually agree with the underlying message in most of these e-mails. Here’s one I just received yesterday from a relative in California:

The following immigration laws are proposed…

  1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
  2. All ballots will be in this nation’s language.
  3. All government business will be conducted in our language.
  4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
  5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.
  6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.
  7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
  8. If foreigners come here and buy land, options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
  9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
  10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted and when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

The above laws are current immigration laws of MEXICO!!!

What bothers me about this message is that I’m quite sure that all the sender did was read an e-mail he received, click “Forward”, fill in addresses from his contact list, and click “Send”. Big deal. You won’t change any laws by e-mailing your contact list.

My sincere question is simple. Who do you call when you want a local law changed? Who do you call when you don’t agree with a national policy? And don’t misunderstand my question. I’m not asking who should you call or who would you call. I’m asking, who do you call? I’m glad you feel passionately about an important issue. But if you don’t even contact your own government representatives about these issues, then don’t preach to me. Don’t fill my inbox with your hypocrisy. Get off your high horse and do something that will actually make a difference.