Robocall Registry An Assault on 1st Amendment Rights

As I have read through the numerous blogs, articles, and podcasts regarding the political Do Not Call Registry, I begin to wonder “what are we doing to ourselves?” I mean we blame George W. Bush for eroding our personal freedoms in the name of public safety and fear. Some zealots come knocking on our door about a registry and you graciously sign away your freedoms.

What freedoms do you ask? How about your right to make robocalls into a Congressional District to poll voters about your political leaders ability to lead. Your rights to run a successful campaign with little or no money against an incumbent that may have a 6-7 figure war chest.

How is the common man supposed to compete with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? How many of us really have $10 Million that we can pull out of our bank accounts to pay for a presidential run? How about a Congressional run? Robocalls are a way to reach a large portion of the population with platform issues that can cover more ground than a knock at the door and a highly unorganized HQ campaign calling.

Thousands of Americans would rather give up this right because they are annoyed a few times a year? I still have to watch the commercials, but there isn’t an uproar over the vast amount of money being spent to annoy us for 30 seconds on television. Why don’t we ban commercials as well. Why don’t we ban mailers. Why don’t we ban people knocking at our door. Why don’t we ban lawn signs, bumper stickers, pins…heck why don’t we just ban candidates!

That’s where America is headed. One out of two eligible voters gets to the polls since the 1960’s. We may have seen a spike in a few presidential elections, but the Election of 2000 saw 50%. That is sad. In my county, it is 35%. One out of 3 people go to the polls in off-election years. Australia has it right because there is a fine associated with not voting so 95% turn out. New York State wants to make money, have them pass a Compulsory Voting Law. Then again we might see “real” politics happen and that would undo everything these 20+ year legislator office holding runs. They would actually have to follow through with campaign promises!

I find that the people that complain too much about the robocalls are really just a minority of people that cornered the market while no one was looking. States that are less populated are going to pass laws against robocalls because its cheaper to run a campaign. Try running a simple school board campaign in any number of suburbs of California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. We won’t see those registries pop up anywhere near those states because it’s not feasible to run campaigns there and legislators rely heavily on contacting the most people for the cheapest price!

While I applaud Shaun Dakin’s efforts to flood the market with articles, blogs, and interviews, its an uphill battle that he won’t win. You might have Indiana and a few other states locked down, but try your business in New York. I will laugh at you. Politics is big business here. Just to run for local office, you better have at least $1 Million in your war chest.

I think that Dakin’s efforts are noble, but futile. He acts just like a politician with the website and the “thanks for emailing us, someone will get back to you shortly” message. I don’t think he’s replacing anything. I would suspect that at one time, he probably worked for the United States Postal Service. He’s either being supported by lobby groups for the USPS, or by the Postal Unions themselves. I mean Dakin, you must understand that politics is moving forward with technology, what makes you think that stopping robocalls is going to stop the politicians from going to your house?

Wait until the personal video, where Joe Schmoe is running for County Legislator and he sends a personalized video mail to your television. Text messaging is on the rise in political campaigns. They are reaching you when you aren’t home? What’s the difference when they aren’t calling your house but they are texting you while you are at the grocery store, at the mall, in the car, the list goes on. Texting is a different technology than robocalls with some similarities. No laws written have expressed any kind of language that omits being texted. There is nothing mentioned about SMS technology. That’s because the leadership in our country probably can’t even text a message to anyone!

It has been my experience that the people complaining about robocalls are registered voters that don’t go to vote. They just belong to the party since they signed up when they were 18. I would highly expect that the majority of the people on Dakin’s registry are non voters that are enrolled in a party. They use the excuse to say they are registered to friends, but they really don’t have views, are politically motivated, or even care who represents them in Congress. They try to drum up these reports and studies that show young people are the most apathetic. Well it’s because the majority of “lifer” politicians ignore them. So why should they vote? Then when they do have the chance at age 30 something, those “lifer” politicians get voted out simply because they outlived their usefulness.

I blame the Baby-boomer generation for these robocall registries. A picture of Dakin on one of the corporate social linking sites shows him to look into his 40s. No wonder why he doesn’t like robocalls, his generation never experienced the Computer Age quite like my peers did. He wasn’t around during the MTV channel premiere because he was most likely either in the work force or in college. There was not a wide proliferation of television sets. People do not use media today like they did back then. They were too busy burning bras, their draft cards, and fighting to invoke a counter culture. Well here we go! They are all now retiring and becoming the fastest block of voters that don’t vote! They also contributed to the rise of a whole slew of political cronies throughout America that is only interested in serving themselves.

The Baby Boomers fear technology. They don’t understand that you can text an order to Starbucks in NYC and get the coffee when they arrive and already pay for it. I will admit that some of them are technologically savvy, but that is because their work or 3rd career forces them to learn these “darn fangled” devices.

Everything is a home invasion for these people, while my generation embraces it. Big Brother is watching you! Yeah okay, you bought right into the current administration’s hands. Meanwhile you are cutting the last few ties that bind you to the political process.

People complain that their representatives don’t do more for them. They complain that they never hear about their accomplishments in government on their behalf. People complain that they would like their opinions to count. Well the lazy baby boomers have come up with the Do Not Call Registry because they didn’t feel they had to leave their house. God forbid they would have to drive or walk to the local County Board of Elections office and erase their number on the list. No, people like Dakin have to make a huge spectacle out of everything! Even though the same technology could save a life during a hurricane, alert the neighborhood to a predator, find your pet, get a prerecorded message from Joe Schmoe telling you that he’s currently passing a bill that could cut your taxes and leave it on your voice mail.

No we don’t want to be bothered because we would rather complain. Well burn your bra, Dakin! When you die of old age, the rest of my generation will just repeal your selfish laws and registries because robocalls make sense. You might find the calls to be ridiculous, so just buy an unlisted number, build a moat, fall off the grid, and you and the rest of your followers can buy a nice tract of ranch land in Wyoming that Alan Thicke is selling and drink the poison Kool-Aid.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not here to single anyone out except Dakin and his non-voting followers. There are plenty of Baby Boomers that are doing the right thing. However that is slightly less than about 40 million people. In a country of over 300 million, that is about 1/7th of the total population and I am taking into consideration that those figures works in 1/3 of the total population divided by 50% of voters (1 out of 2) in that age bracket…give or take. You combine that with the results of the 2000 Elections and you have 100 million people once you combine the 1/4 of young and elderly voters.

I also don’t think all politicians are bad, just the ones in New York State. Only because they have lacked true initiative to do anything remotely advantageous for the people. They spend twice as much as the rate of inflation and then tax the people to death! No wonder more people are leaving this state! A correlation? Gee I wonder!

However I can attribute my parents’ generation and their actions to today’s society. I just think that they are put off by technology that they are scared of and want it to disappear because they lived in a Cold War society that thought hiding under a desk would protect them from an atomic blast. At the same time, many of them, about 50,000 according to Dakin, don’t care about anything except themselves. Dakin doesn’t even like when people call his house using Findtoto.com in order to have the neighborhood search for their pets. That’s the kind of person Dakin is and that is the kind of society he chooses to be involved in. I think it’s poisonous to America and everything it stands for.

In conclusion, I say that not voting, burning your draft card, and signing up for the Robocall Do Not Call registry is un-American. The only thing that Dakin is fostering is the movement towards complete and utter apathy! He’s the type of guy who would watch you get shot on his lawn, complain that you are bleeding on his grass, and go inside his house and not call the authorities. If 50,000 people want to join him, then at least we have a collection of phone numbers to start when it comes to texting the Hell out of them!

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