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We the Irrelevant

Formerly known as We the People

What are some common questions about We the Irrelevant's data, and how do you respond?

       1. "Isn't it true that most of these contacts are from disgruntled Democrats who refuse to accept that elections have consequences?"

             In our hyper-partisan environment, it's easy to dismiss your fellow citizens' voices by putting them in a convenient box and closing the lid. But, losing an election does not mean losing your right to be heard.  In fact, a sizeable minority of these contacts are from self-identified Republicans, Conservatives, and Independents who believe that their party has overreached. Examples may be found here.

       2.  "These elected officials are responding to those who voted for them, not those who didn't. What's wrong with that?"

            This might be so except that blatant gerrymandering enabled legislators to choose their voters. Their job security allows them to ignore the voices of opposition regardless of how loud and numerous those voices are.  Additionally, the decisions they make affect everyone in the state. Pleasing only their chosen constituency does not meet my standard of representation.

      3.  "Aren't a lot of these contacts from special interest groups, not individual citizens?"

            Some came from special interest groups. The copied text and group ID are obvious. But, they are not the majority. The majority of contacts came from individual citizens exercising their right to influence the actions of their elected representatives.

         4.    " What do you think you've demonstrated other than that when people are dissatisfied with those in power, they let them know?"

       I believe that our representative democracy depends on the willingness of elected officials to listen to and respect the views of all citizens. Multiple academic studies and polls have found incontrovertible evidence that, in today's US politics, people believe that elected officials listen far more often to deep-pocketed donors and industry lobbyists than they do to citizens.

       In Wisconsin, We the People have become We the Irrelevant, a shift documented by the data I've collected.

       Nowhere was that shift more stunning than after the December, 2018 lame duck session when I queried the entire legislature asking for citizen correspondence on that hot-button issue. The legislature received 48,660 contacts. 47,904, or 98%, were in opposition. Despite that overwhelming number, the GOP majority passed all three of the lame duck measures.

       In what universe is it acceptable for elected officials to ignore 47,904 citizen contacts on a single issue? That is the question that demands an answer.