Lemming Alert

This is driving me crazy. I’ve gotten three emails this week, forwarded from people who ought to know better. The content of these emails (which rail against Congress for giving itself special privileges) has been widely debunked, yet intelligent people seem exceedingly gullible about what friends forward to them. America, laws were passed in the ’80s and ’90s to curtail what these people are sending hoax emails about. Since those laws were enacted, Congress does not get special health care, does pay into Social Security, and does adhere to the laws it passes.

So why are people still circulating ridiculous and hysterical emails about passing Constitutional Amendments so Congress can’t have special privileges? Because we’re all mad at Congress. Easy one. But significantly, nobody ever tells people that the emails they forward are wrong. Recipients politely file the email in the Trash folder, or blindly forward it on.

Whenever I get an email that has been proven false by snopes.com or urbanlegend.com or factcheck.org I reply to the sender with links that show their friendly advice or entreaty is wrong. Gentle, polite, simple information that there are places where you can actually research horsesh*t that the Internet sends you.

But several days later I heard people call into an NPR discussion about a potential third political party. Callers were asked to name a simple plank on which the party would run. And at least two listeners suggested that Congress be forced to adhere to the same policies, laws, and taxes as other Americans. I guess they got the same email. And they then believed it, internalized it, and wasted their chance at a real political reform position by spouting ridiculous nonsense.

People, people, people. Please do your research before you get your panties in a bunch about something. And, Media Outlets? Maybe your producers, who screen the calls, could also do a quick Google check of the bullsh&t coming in via callers.

I know nobody’s happy with Congress right now. I’m really angry, too. But that shouldn’t be fuel for falsehood and unsubstantiated rumor.

Do your homework. Then go email all your friends about how things need to change.