Moveon.org has multiple personality disorder

If you have read me for a while, you know I’m a loyal MoveOn.org minion.  I’ve been an active-ish member for quite some time now even though they bombard me with emails about once a day.  I actually read said emails.  And I act on them – emailing my congressmen and even adding a thoughtful paragraph or two to their suggested form letter.

Despite the smam-ish nature of their organization, I still have always loved them.  I felt There was a common passion there for most of my hot-button issues.  And their grass-roots feel was charming to me – it’s like my email box is just one of many neighborhood stoops dotted across the Internet.  We’re much more powerful when we work together.

But something happened a few weeks ago that annoyed me, and has been poking at my frontal lobe ever since.  MoveOn supported a bill that I thought was incredibly backward.  That in itself isn’t a “case closed” for me — I don’t expect that any organization will align themselves exactly in my socially-liberal economically-classic global-economy schizophrenically-political sort of way.  The part that bothered me is that I have no real way to tell them that I don’t back it or why.

In late May (yes I’m incredibly late with this – my blogging has been nothing short of lethargic lately) I got an email from Ilyse Hogue, Moveon Campaign Director, asking me to support a bill supporting banning “gas price gouging”.  Moveon claims that by the end of the summer, gas prices will hit $4.00 by the end of the summer.  I should sign their petition because “gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families”.  Gas price gougers could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

HR 1242 has now passed the house.  Of course it is a popular bill – any bill that makes our pocketbooks a little heavier is bound to be.  But the bill is so poorly written that any large increase in fuel could be seen as “gouging”.  Aren’t their real reasons for an increase?  And so what if fuel prices go up to $4.00 a gallon?  Maybe then our free market system – the system we are so proud of – will do its job.  When prices go up, demand goes down.  This is Econ 101, people.  In simple terms, Americans may finally get it – that driving less, using mass transit, and trading in their SUVs for more fuel-efficient models will actually benefit them.  Price increases in gas may be the only way for us to become less foreign-oil dependent and more greenhouse gas conscious.  You’ve got to hit capitalists where they will stand up and take notice.

When I attempt to click on “faq” or “contact” so I can tell them why I think this bill is a bad idea if they are serious about global warming as they claim, and that American families are bound to get much more hurt when the climate crisis escalates into disease, coastal flood, droughts, wildfires, and death, I get taken to this page.  Obviously this is not an organization interested in my opinion.  They only want to use me when it suits them to add another faceless tally mark next to their cause du jour.

Still, I won’t be clicking “unsubscribe” quite yet.  Although I still feel as used and discarded as a condom in an Amsterdam back alley, I use them right back.  Moveon.org is an easy way for me to be alerted when certain bills or political action occur, and they give me an easy way for my voice to be heard.  On my own, I’m just a “concerned housewife from SE Washington State”.  Not a big mover and shaker.

However, I try and make sure I don’t blindly hit that pretty red “sign the petition!” button each and every time it crosses my laptop.  I do some research.  I listen to both sides.  Then I think for myself.

I strongly believe I’m not the only one who puts their own minds, hearts and consciences before those of a political party.  If that’s the definition of a political independent, maybe we should all classify ourselves that way.

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4 Responses to “Moveon.org has multiple personality disorder”


  1. 1 Oh, The Joys June 13, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Amens & hallelujahs! My husband works in energy policy. If gasoline cost more – people would drive less.

  2. 2 karen June 14, 2007 at 7:08 am

    it’s true. When we were in England it became quite evident that people just thought differently about travel, commute distances and public transportation. If you had a job you wouldn’t consider an hour commute by car, it’d be too pricey. You’d live a reasonable distance away, live near train line or live a mile away and walk. It’s a different outlook when prices are higher and makes life simpler and saner.

  3. 3 Kaitlin June 16, 2007 at 7:21 am

    I’m impressed that you take the time to read all of MoveOn’s emails–the sheer volume of information they throw in my direction makes me overwhelmed to the extent that I now only read their messages on a random basis. How do you find time to research each of their petitions? Have you found other good sites for research/information? Just curious.

    After a bit of clicking (and by that, I mean a lot! 🙂 ), I found this page: http://pol.moveon.org/feedback/fb/form.html?tp=suggest . Their “disclaimer” makes it sound like they get a flood of comments (fair enough since they send out a flood of information, IMHO), but perhaps this is one way you could provide them with feedback? I do hope you find a way to share your opinions with them–I think it’s incredibly important that they hear you.

    Also, I’m going to ask again: why aren’t you running for office?!?!? I may have to start a write-in campaign for you. 😉

    Thanks for continuing to speak up!

    Cheers,

    Kaitlin

  4. 4 americanmum June 16, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    “Also, I’m going to ask again: why aren’t you running for office?!?!?”

    Dear, dear Kaitlin, you have no idea what dark secrets they could uncover about my past…

    …kidding. (Mostly.) Seriously, I saw enough of politics from my Dad’s former professional life. It wasn’t pretty. But yes, I’ll continue to speak up. Because with my readership being in the TENS each and every day, sooner or later the world is going to listen. 😉


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