14 Better Uses of My Time Than Emailing Ted Cruz’s Office Yet Again

Editor’s Note: This article focuses on personal feelings about abortion rights in the US, and in Texas, specifically. It gets into some serious stuff and if your bandwidth for stressing about Roe v. Wade is maxed out, you may want to pass on today’s piece.

And so our national cycle continues: first, a major government body decides that states can opt out of safeguarding a critical civil right, making life even harder in the Southern and Midwestern US. Then, a familiar chorus of online Blue State would-be allies lecture those of us down in Red States about what we owe the rest of this country. And since most of us can’t afford to uproot our entire lives and support networks for greener pastures, they often recommend voting and reaching out to our congressperson or senator as the next best thing.

And look: I get it. Some parts of our country are still theoretically a representative democracy, while others have gerrymandered-to-hell congressional districts shaped like Junji Ito creations. Who knows, maybe your state isn’t as notoriously difficult to vote in

Maybe your senator’s office at least pretends to care if you live or die. But despite my best efforts, Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn are my senators. For the past ten years, I have donated to their opponents, cajoled everyone in my life into voting at every election (including minor local propositions), and even became a deputy voter registrar for a whole hot minute. You could coat a city bus with all of my “I Voted” stickers, but these two clowns still represent me and roughly 28 million other Texans.

I used to call and email my senators, too, but they tend to brag about the tearful missives they get from people like me. So rather than giving Senator Cruz’s office the satisfaction of making me cry again (although honestly: not like it’s hard!!!!), here are a few (mostly) less ineffectual ways for me to pass the time:

  • Checking on the reproductive health advocates in my life to see how they’re hanging in there / sharing open job postings with those who need them
  • Telling the people I love that I love them, which feels more important when things are scary and unsure
  • Googling a lot of scary maternal health outcomes and then opening and closing tabs I’m too afraid to finish reading
  • Figuring out whether or not my onion-cutting goggles would be strong enough to withstand pepper spray OR if getting punched while wearing them will suction my eyeballs clean out of my head??????
  • Doomscrolling, as a treat

Nine years to the day before the Roe v. Wade reversal, I huddled with a handful of close friends in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol, crying from joy after Wendy Davis’s historic filibuster. A lot of people thought we won that night. A few weeks later, the bill Davis filibustered against still passed. 

We spent weeks at the Capitol leading up to that filibuster night — the entire summer of 2013. As people shared harrowing testimony about reproductive health crises, I’ll never forget seeing state legislators on the Texas House floor, playing on their phones, joking with each other, literally horsing around pushing each other off of wheeled office chairs like children. Republican legislators laughed when Davis shared our heartbreaking stories. They laughed when we shared our own stories. They don’t care if you see them laughing.

Laughing as a weeping woman describes her late term miscarriage might be career suicide for statewide political office in your home state. If so, I wish my home was like your home. But on the other hand, it turns out that what starts here really does change the world. Other states have been copying from Texas’s far-right playbook for years. Texas’s statewide 2014 election mirrored much of what the whole country would experience in 2016. Texas might be broken by design, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

I know I’m probably not doing or processing All Of This in any kind of Right Way. I’m doing my best to show up for my loved ones and my community without letting the weight of everything overwhelm me. And maybe protecting my home can help other folks protect theirs, too.

But I don’t owe Ted Cruz any more of my tears and you don’t either . Write to him if you want to. Call his office if you want to. But if you’d rather do literally anything else, I won’t hold it against you.

Bonus: Ted Cruz fleeing Texas for a Cancun vacation during the deadly 2021 winter storm!!!!

Featured image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels.

CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
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