For Progressives burning up with righteous anger, but too lazy actually to act upon it, there’s Resistbot: text it and it will write your letter for you.
My Progressive Facebook friends have a new toy, one that allows them to send a detailed message to their representatives in Washington simply by texting out their desire. It’s called “Resistbot” — and no, this is not some cute parody. It’s a real thing:
Resistbot turns your text messages into daily letters to Congress— in the simplest and easiest way possible. We are working hard behind the scenes to make sure they are delivered and that your representatives take them seriously.
To get things rolling, you set up an account by giving your name and location, so it can figure out you representatives’ identities. Then, all you have to do is send a text to Resistbot saying (per Resistbot’s homepage suggestion) “I want you to push for a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the election.”
Once the text arrives at headquarters, one of a team of round-the-clock volunteers will send you prompts, to which you respond. Armed with your prompted answers, the volunteers get to work inserting your phrases into a letter which Resistbot then faxes on your behalf to your Senators and House member.
Think of it as being a sort of political paint-by-numbers, with you getting a few of your own color choices:
Unlike a lot of other tools, Resistbot doesn’t tell you what to say. Our research shows that form letters are totally ignored by Congress. Only original, unique messages count. But they don’t have to be complicated or fancy. Just a few sentences from a real-life voter gets their attention. Don’t worry about typos or mistakes, that just further shows you’re a real person.
I can’t decide whether I find Resistbot a clever way to harness voter anger that’s not back by voter energy or just a cheap con in a digital age. All I know is that the site’s name inevitably makes me think of Al Sharpton’s mystical pronouncement, “But resist, we much — we must and we will much about that be committed.”
Photo credit: Texting, by Jhaymesisviphotography; Creative Commons license.