(2/16/2003) As President George W. Bush pushes his agenda to take military action against Iraq, supporters and detractors both want to make their voices heard. Some conscientious netizen zeroed in on a way for both sides to register their vote, but this e-mail chain letter misrepresents the facts slightly.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Subject: FW: Opinion on War with Iraq
The White House is now providing voters with an "opinion" line.
So call and give your opinion of the proposed war in Iraq. The line only accepts calls from 9-5 Eastern Time, Monday thru Friday. Just call the White House at 202-456-1111. A machine will detain you for only a moment and then a pleasant live operator will thank you for
saying "I oppose" or "I approve."
It will only take minutes. Note that the weekends are closed for calls. The president has said that he wants to know what the American people are thinking. Let him know. Time is running out. Then please forward this e-mail to at least five people right away.
Tell them what you think.
1 PHONE CALL EQUALS 10-20 PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T CALL. PLEASE PASS ON TO FRIEND
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
The number for the White House general contact line given above is correct. They have a general inquiries e-mail address (email@example.com) for the same purpose. However, the White House is not specifically soliciting opinions about the war, as this letter suggests.
If you want to make your opinion known, by all means call. But don't assume that this is some sort of opinion poll with the President's endorsement. White House staff (most likely interns) log calls and e-mails on a variety of topics, which are compiled into a daily, weekly or monthly report to the President's advisors. Your call, in essence, is just a tic mark on a tally sheet.
Far more influential than one "yes" or "no" vote would be a personally written letter that explains what action you'd like to see the administration take and why. Visit the WhiteHouse.gov web site to find how to have your voice heard. Break this chain.