Often times I feel that the political action that I attempt to take through our political system is spitting into the wind. Yesterday, I planned to attend a Town Hall meeting because our local congressman wanted to hear the community’s thoughts on the nuclear deal with Iran. He stated in the invitation, “I care about your thoughts on this issue.” I was unable to attend the meeting so I decided to share my thoughts on his Facebook page as the invitation instructed.
I posted the following on Congressman Tom Reed’s Facebook page:
Dear Tom Reed,
I am writing you this note because I was unable to attend the meeting at the Mina Town Hall this morning. I agree that the deal with Iran is far from perfect, but I do not understand what alternative those who oppose the deal recommend that would not lead to heightened military involvement. What do you propose as an alternative to the deal?
I am certainly not a military expert, but the fact that 36 retired military officers contend that the deal is the best way to inhibit Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons makes it appear to be the most viable option. Their informed opinions matter.
This deal could halt the momentum of Iranian nuclear weapons programs for 10 to 15 years and in the meantime we can have a dialogue for a more peaceful solution thus avoiding another military quagmire in the region. The deal represents diplomacy, which is favorable to military aggression whenever possible. Moreover, as you are well aware, we signed the deal along with five other nations who have all done research that has led them to conclude that this is the best possible action. The dangerous years of the United States taking unilateral action without careful consideration of the point of view of our allies has led us into costly and protracted military endeavors throughout the world that are bankrupting our economy. This has creating untold suffering for millions of other people. This deal with Iran is far from perfect, but if it limits their capabilities for more than a decade and is part of a shift to a more diplomatic and multilateral approach to international relations, it is a step in the right direction.
I returned today to see if the congressman had responded to my thoughts. I found that my post had been shuffled to some back-alley of his Facebook page, where no one could view it. However, the page had been updated. There was a short video presentation from other constituents that was a series of short phrases. The video consisted of four utterings about the nuclear deal that read: “Our Supporters Believe the Iran Deal is…” The responses were: “Unamerican!” “Abysmal,” “A mistake,” and “A detriment to the world.”
How can we have a real discussion about important issues if legislators only want to hear from people who support their biases? How can a discussion about something so important and complex be reduced to simple outbursts that it is “Unamerican!” (whatever that means)? We should demand more from our politicians and the political system as a whole.