Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My submitted comment...

I just emailed off what I'd call an open comment to the Town Hall meeting. There's likely 45 minutes left to go, and clearly a long list of questions, but as you'll see from the text of my comment... a nerve (or two) was struck and I felt compelled to mail.

The recent Zogby poll that has continually been quoted here today asked people whether they supported "the REAL ID program, which requires each state to change their driver's license systems to meet national standards and ensure that their databases are compatible with other states."

That is a far different question than asking if people support the specific rules proposed in the DHS implementation of the Real ID Act. Do you believe that if you were to sit down with those surveyed and explain to them all the costs and issues associated with the Act – issues which you have acknowledged – the 70% figure would remain? If not, then using that figure is misleading.

Also, when you say that all I care about when I put my spouse or child on a plane is whether the person they are sitting next to is the person they claim to be, you do not speak for me or, in fact, any spouse or parent I know. What I care about, and what everyone I’ve asked cares about, is whether the person in question is going to do harm. People do harm under their real names all the time, including, quite horrifically, the 9/11 terrorists.

It is hard to have a debate about the issues when emotional trump cards are continually played. While I tremendously appreciate your being here today and allowing us this forum, I would ask that you do not speak for me… but instead listen to me and accept that in issues as complex as this, there is a need to have open dialogue and not rely on sound bites.



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