“I know, I’m a bad American. I should know more about the issues, but who has time to look for all that stuff?”
If I had a dime for every time I’ve said something like that, I’d have an arm full of tattoos by now. I hate watching the news because it’s depressing and you can never really trust a newscast to just report the facts. I don’t get my news from the internet because I don’t want to sift through pointless b.s. just to find something relevant. Newspapers? Those are the things in the bags on my driveway, right?
I feel like a bad American for thinking that way. I also feel like a ton of other people think that way, too. People are always say you should write your congressman about things, but those people don’t realize that I am far too busy watching YouTube videos of Keyboard Cat.
When someone on a design email list recently pointed me in the direction of popvox.com, I went to the site solely to check out a “Write to Congress” widget that someone on the list had recently made. What I found when I got to the site was a “lazy but concerned” person’s dream. Here’s what happened when I got curious about H.R 3, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions.
1. I read the blurb
A quick summary stated what the bill was about and provided a link to more detailed information.
2. I checked out the two sides of the issue.
The “Endorsing Organizations” tab listed arguments from the Conference of Catholic Bishops (bishops generally don’t like any sort of abortion), Concerned Women for America (they think funding abortions would take away from military pay), and the National Right to Life Committee (also not big fans of abortion). The “Organizations Opposing” tab listed arguments from the National Women’s Law Center (they fear that this would harm small business by making insurance companies pay for abortions), National Organization for Women (they fear that asking insurance companies to pay would inhibit safe practices and free choice), and the American Humanist Association (again, the free choice argument). There are 8 other groups opposing this bill, but I’ll just assume that you’re not enjoying these run-on sentences and leave you to read the other arguments for yourself.
3. I checked out the bill’s status
This one already passed on May 4, but…
4. I opposed the bill anyway
Just cause the die is cast doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it. It’s the American way! So, I clicked the big “oppose” button (right next to the big “support” button), filled in my name and address and sent my opinion and my information to congress. Since they also asked for my address, I can only assume that I’m now on some kind of “liberal bastard” registry and will soon be getting picketed by Sarah Palin. BRING IT, PALIN.
Popvox makes it easy to stop feeling like a bad American and start feeling like you actually know what’s going on, all with handy dandy pie charts. As a typical American…I LOVE PIE…CHARTS.