Dear Mr. President,
I’ve been writing letters to you for 3 years now, sending each one electronically through the White House website and a hardcopy via USPS (doing my bit to help the USPS survive), 462 to date. Because the White House website restricts comments to 2500 characters (including spaces), I’ve gotten pretty good at saying what I want to say right at that number of characters. At first it was difficult to be so restricted but it does make one focus on an issue and not natter on and waste your time. (I know you never actually read any of these letters yourself but I keep the illusion going even though they haven’t made a dime’s worth of difference because it’s a way to vent my frustration and rage at your betrayals.) Anyhow, a month ago the White House website got revised and suddenly 2500 characters was 51 too many and my letters could no longer go through without the electronic version being abridged. I thought maybe some of the people who messed up the Healthcare.gov website screwed up the character counter on the “Contact the White House” page so I sent a message—only a few hundred characters—pointing out the problem but a month later 2500 characters (including spaces) is still 51 too many. I didn’t expect an acknowledgement—I haven’t received a response from the White House to any of my most recent 65 letters over the past 4 months—and if you won’t acknowledge your drone wars or extrajudicial assassinations or the murder of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere, why would I expect you to bother acknowledging something this trivial? Just a little technical glitch that can easily be fixed, not a war crime like ordering the assassination of a 16-year-old U.S. citizen who posed no threat to the U.S. Or is it just a simple technical glitch? Maybe it’s a precursor of what’s coming, a way of choking off another avenue of dissent, forcing us to restrict our letters to 2449 characters and pretending it’s still 2500. That’s not a lot, maybe not even noticeable to most folks, but what’s next, 2400 characters? 2000? Why not just take down the page and do away with the pretense? In a way it’s symbolic of how you’ve lost touch with We the People, how you don’t hear our voices, or if you do, don’t give a damn, how we don’t exist in your reality of political wheeling and dealing and power games, deciding who lives and who dies, who gets the breaks and who gets screwed. In your world, 2449 is 2500 and that’s distorted reality, Mr. President.