"We've got a great idea!" a Letter to Supporters emailed this morning said. "Today we had 6 volunteers in the office making calls to the U.S. Congress about the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding prosecution of obscenity crimes. We only have 2 weeks left to get as many signatures on it as we can. We're up to 24 U.S. Senators and 37 U.S. Representatives. Many of the offices today said they hadn't yet heard of the letter, but were interested in learning more. That gave us an idea! With your help, we can make sure they've all heard about it. This Thursday we'll host a National Call Day and need you to be a part of it.
"Even if all you have is 30 minutes to participate," he added, "that's plenty! Remember that now is the time to make our voices heard. We've all experienced and observed how pornography harms. We've still got the law on our side so let's speak up!"
First of all, why two weeks? Trueman never says, and we're unaware of any pressing legislation or upcoming hearings that his letter would affect. Secondly, we have to note: Wow! A whole 37 U.S. Representatives! That means they only have another 398 to go! (Well, just under half that for a majority.) And just 76 more senators! (Ditto, but at least Democrats are in the majority in that chamber.) And rest assured, any office that claims not to have heard of the letter is just yanking their chain; most of them probably don't want to touch this issue with a (pardon the expression) 10-foot pole. They know their constituents like their porn, even though there's no doubt that with the 2012 election just 21 months away, conservatives will be making "obscenity" (if not plain ol' porn) one of their central issues, since they really have nothing else to run on.
And frankly, as the election draws closer, we have little doubt that just about every Republican legislator and quite a number of conservative Democrats will jump on that bandwagon as a distraction from their attempts to bust unions, shred the national social safety net, give even more tax breaks to the wealthy, screw Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid recipients and generally act like the dicks they are.
Never mind that the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force is now a thing of the past, with its head, Brent Ward, reportedly having returned to Utah, and with its two remaining prosecutors, Pamela Satterfield and Bonnie Hannum, reportedly having quit and gone into private practice, with what appears to be the Unit's one remaining case, U.S. v. Ira Isaacs, having been turned over to two attorneys from the Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section (CEOS). That's how interested General Holder appears to be in prosecuting porn.
But Trueman is always hopeful; after all, trying to suppress porn is what pays his salary. And for MIM's unsophisticated followers, he's even created a script they can read from when they call legislators to push their agenda:
"May I please speak with whoever handles issues of pornography or obscenity in your office?" the prepared script begins.
[If there is no one or they are not sure who it would be, just ask to speak with the Legislative Director]
IF SOMEONE ANSWERS:
"Hi, my name is ____________ and I am calling about the War on Illegal Pornography, which is a coalition effort of more than 60 groups, and we are working to get the Department of Justice to begin prosecuting violators of federal obscenity laws. I am calling in regards to the letter currently circulating from Senator Orrin Hatch/Representatives Forbes and McIntyre to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to aggressively and consistently enforce these laws, and we are inviting Senator/Representative ______________ to sign on and support this important effort. Do you know if Senator/Representative ____________ has had the opportunity to see this letter?"
IF HE OR SHE HAS NOT SEEN IT:
"I can send it to you now. What is your email address/fax number? Will you please make sure that the senator has the opportunity to read this letter and consider it?"
IF HE OR SHE HAS SEEN IT:
"Will he/she sign on?"
It's that simple!
Of course, if the callers want to ad lib a bit, Trueman is only too happy to provide extra talking points, including claims that porn causes the break-up of marriages, the sexual abuse of children, harms the kids psychologically, causes sexual harassment and violence toward women, loss of productivity at work (undoubtedly something the legislators and their staffs can well relate to) and even hurts servicemen in many of the same ways. None of it's true, of course, but that's never stopped Pat or MIM before.
But since Trueman was nice enough to provide us with an Excel list with congressional contacts and phone numbers, why shouldn't those who support free sexual speech use it as well?
We're not going to provide free speech advocates with a script, since we're pretty sure they're intelligent enough to express their appreciation for adult materials for themselves, but wouldn't it be cool if people reading this used the phone numbers provided at the time MIM has set for this "call-in"—Thursday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time—to call their own representatives and tell them that they're just regular citizens, not addicts or rapists or child molesters, and that they want their porn to remain free of government censorship?
Sure, a lot of porn users are ashamed of admitting it in public, thanks to the religious morality that warped their sensibilities when they were growing up, but those of us who've been keeping track of what's happening in government over the past few years have noted that conservatives—particularly the religiously-oriented ones—have become much more outspoken and forceful since Obama became president, and will use suppression of constitutionally-protected sexual speech as one ploy/excuse to gain more legislative seats to push their totalitarian social and political agendas.
But if you value the ability to go to your local video store and rent a XXX-rated title or two to enjoy in the privacy of your own home, possibly with a loved one at your side, isn't that worth the slight embarrassment you may feel in calling your representatives and letting them know how you feel about this subject?