This is the text of an email message I’ve just sent to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski:
“Senator Murkowski: I’ve just found out that you made an OFFICIAL PLEDGE NOT TO TRACK visitors to your web site via cookies - YET YOU DO SO. This information is posted under the heading “Hands in the Cookie Jar” at the following site (CNET News):
Is there any wonder for the growing public distrust of politicians, especially under this current paranoid & duplicitous administration? I am sending a copy of this email to other Alaska friends who will be very interested in your perfidy.
We would all appreciate learning the reasons for your sneakiness in violating your pledge. Since I’ve gone to your web site in order to submit this email, I must assume I am now being tracked. Sincerely, (signature)”
While it may not be strictly illegal to break a pledge, it is certainly most dishonorable. After all, what is a pledge except a guarantee of one’s honor?
The argument will be made that the politicians who broke their pledges concerning internet tracking have little understanding of the technology used in their names on their web sites. But, that is no excuse. Besides the too obvious honor and ethics of “the buck stops here”, our national politicians have virtually unlimited budgets to both create and maintain their public persona - especially including their web sites.
Perhaps they are too busy groveling for handouts from their financial benefactors - like Jack Abramoff, et al. Perhaps they are too busy consolidating their grip on the power entrusted to them by their constituents. Perhaps they thought no one would notice and it’s a fluke we did. Perhaps, they just aren’t honorable at all and never intended to be. Whatever the reason, these folks have certainly failed the public trust.
Let them know now! If your politician is on this list , tell him or her your feelings about it. If they don’t like it, well tough. We hired them and we the people are ultimately in charge - and the buck ultimately does stop with us. It is our right and duty to tell them. They must be told - and often be reminded who’s really boss.
This is only a small part of today’s general smarminess of ‘politics as usual’ - in both parties. It’s most obvious we need to institute some meaningful changes, such as campaign finance reform, and term limits for heaven’s sakes. Let’s stop allowing our all-too-well-paid and benefitted public servants get away with assuming the mantles of royalty.
"Reason and ignorance influence the bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive, the machinery of government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it." - Thomas Paine, 1797 in "Rights of Man"