Calling the Senator

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I called Sen. David Perdue’s office today, like I do everyday.

When I first started calling it was a different thing each time: vote against Betsy DeVos; vote against Jeff Sessions; don’t kill Obamacare. But it’s become clear these kinds of appeals won’t work. He’s not going to budge on policy. So now I call about principles.

Last week it was the principle of cooperation, of unifying our divided nation. I tell the aide who answers (or more often the voice mail), “Senator, as you know this nation is terribly divided, and President Trump is dividing it further still. I know you’re getting thousands of calls a day and it’s because our president is deepening the the divide between Americans. We need leaders who will bring us together. Please Senator, be that kind of leader.”

This week – after Sen. Perdue said of the hundreds of citizens who went to his mobile office hours demanding a town hall: “If organized groups want to manufacture protests and continue to be disruptive, it will only deny those who really need help” – I’ve been saying something like this: “Senator, you and I both share a deep respect for the Constitution, and I’m disappointed that you have disparaged Georgia citizens for exercising their First Amendment to peacefully organize, petition and protest the government. This is a fundamental freedom, and Americans’ exercise of this freedom is essential to the greatness of this great nation.”

And so on. I try to be polite. When a real person answers, like the did today in both Perdues and Isakson’s offices, I try to great them by name. Today I said, “Hi Megan, could you please tell the senator to vote against Puzder’s appointment as labor secretary,” and, “Hi Colin, please tell senator Perdue that I’m disappointed that he dismissed Georgians for being civically engaged and exercising their First Amendment rights.” Colin was very friendly and chipper. I hope he and Megan have great experiences in the senator’s office, and that they consider a life of public service and civic engagement. It warms my American heart to know young men and women still have faith in America’s government and are getting involced.

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