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Dear Democratic Party:

I have a few suggestions on how you might improve your relationship with centrists who would like to support you.  Well, all right, it’s really all about how to improve your relationship with me.

The primary rule is this: stop annoying me.

You might wonder which of your policies, pronouncements, or other points of politicking have triggered this reaction.  In all honesty, none of them; from what little attention I’ve paid to political debate in America, you’re batting about even with the Republicans, though I tend to give you a slight edge due to my internal biases.  No, what’s raised my ire is the one-two punch of clueless marketing you served me today.

The first one was a fund-raising letter sent to me by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.  It’s nice to know that Mrs. Clinton is interested in involving her constituents in the political process, at least as far as their wallets go.  Slight problem: Mrs. Clinton is not my senator.  She doesn’t even represent a single person in my state, as I live in Ohio, not New York.

Of course I realize this was a national campaign, not a matter of local politics.  That being the case, though, the name on the envelope should have been that of your national party chairman, Dr. Howard Dean.  If he’s not popular enough to be attached to such an effort, then you need a new chair.

The follow-up fumble was a telephone call I got early this evening which also exhorted me to donate to the cause.  Now, part of the reason I get these calls is that, as a political entity, you’re free to ignore the Do Not Call list.  Both parties took shameless advantage of this oh-so-convenient exception last fall, as I observed at the time, but since the election you’d both pretty much shut up, thankfully.  The other part of the reason is that I gave a small donation to a chilly, rain-soaked young woman who rang our doorbell one evening.  At the time, I did it because I was marginally less opposed to your Presidential candidate than I was to his opponent, and because I can be a sucker for young idealists caught in the rain.  What I didn’t reckon, though I should have, was that it would put me on the “contact this guy a lot” list.

Where “a lot” isn’t usually more than twice a month, I admit, but still.

Anyway, your telemarketing temp launched into her spiel, which was nicely written, but I decided to inform her that I wasn’t interested since the last time I’d made a donation, it had gotten me onto a bunch of mailing lists.  Her response was that what actually happens is when you go out on the Internet and use search engines, they hang onto that information.

So here’s my last tip, which comes in two parts.  It goes like this.  If you’re going to give your marketdroids some kind of response for complaints like mine, try to make sure that it’s:

  1. Not a lame attempt to shift blame to some other quarter; and
  2. Not complete bull[censored].

If you haven’t written a response for that kind of complaint, then you should at least instruct your temps that ad-libbing their own bogus responses isn’t kosher.  Tell them to try a little sympathy and understanding—and, even better, have them tell prospects that their name won’t be put on every liberal-leaning mailing list in the universe!

Although please only have them tell people that if it’s actually true.  Leave the lying to the politicians.

Anyway, that’s it in a nutshell.  Remember that I’m only saying all this because I care.  Good luck.

Sincerely,
Eric

P.S. to the Republicans: stop looking so smug, because you know damned well you’d be doing the same stuff if I’d given you any money.  In fact, last year you sent me two surveys soliciting my opinions as a representative of “a select group of Republicans” in my area.  Leaving aside the pathetically transparent lie it represented (that you were only contacting a few select people in every area, as opposed to sending one to everyone you could find), it was at best insultingly biased to anyone who possesses more than an milligram of functioning brain cells.

You’re no better than the Democrats; in many ways, you’re a lot worse, and I occasionally toy with the idea of donating some small amount just to see how awful your subsequent mailings and phone calls would get.  You know, do a comparison with what the Democrats are sending me.  But honestly?  I’d really rather not hear from either of you until you learn to behave like adults.

10 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Mon 23 May 2005
    • 2306
    Will Kessel wrote in to say...

    My bride is a registered Democrat, and until we got married and bought the house, we received all manner of calls and mailings, even though our phone number is about as unlisted as you can get.

    Last couple of years, however, it’s been relatively peaceful — that is, until Euclid Democrats found out that I am, like you, a liberal-leaning Independent. During the last campaign, they were at my door twice a week, and at least three times per week in October.

    Unfortunately, I’ve been weatherstripping the house since we moved in, and we can no longer slam the doors…

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Mon 23 May 2005
    • 2326
    Sage wrote in to say...

    Which is a great reason to go Libertarian!

    Sorry, couldn’t help it… we’re always looking out for unhappy independents.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 May 2005
    • 0010
    Oliver wrote in to say...

    Well said. It’s really annoying to be annoyed by people who are supposed to lead the government.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 May 2005
    • 0958
    Aaron Gustafson wrote in to say...

    Amen, Eric. Both parties have a lot of learning to do, which is why I became a Green quite a few years back. It’s funny though, I still get mail/email from both parties even though I have never sent one red (or blue) cent to either. Most likely it is mishandling of my personal information by other activist organizations (MoveOn and the like).

    Also, if you want some interesting reading, sign up for the Weekly Trunk (Get it? Trunk… those Reps are so clever I get chills), the GOP’s email newsletter. Quite interesting and amusing to see how they spin stuff like tax cuts for the rich into the “American” thing to do.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 May 2005
    • 1042
    Territan wrote in to say...

    Republican mailings can get significantly worse. Watch for a periodical called Rising Bile– er, Rising Tide which features a lot more opinion-editorially articles, pictures of Republicans, and exaggerated caricatures of Democrats. (Bias? Nay, perish the thought!)

    And it’s not just them. Certain religious organizations, especially those run by Pat Robertson and Dr. James Dobson, don’t even try to conceal their bias. Judging by some of the envelopes I’ve seen from Dobson’s organization, attempting to generate ill will against anyone they refer to as “left” or “liberal,” I expect the pogrom against southpaws to begin any week now.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 May 2005
    • 1111
    Jeni wrote in to say...

    It took me several months to get off the TrueMajority/MoveOn mailing list after the elections. Somehow they’d gotten their hands on at least three different e-mail addresses (all going to the same inbox, *sigh*), and started mailing me from at least two different lists. During November I was getting 6-7 e-mails a day from them; after the election I was still getting 2-3 a day. That’s on top of all the mail and phone calls I was getting screaming, “Vote Democrat! Give us money!”

    I think it’s all political parties – the Green Party e-mailed me for years because I showed a vague amount of interest in Nader in 2000. The Republicans even tried showing up at my door. Next Presidental election year, I think I’m going announce my political affliation to the Social Anarchists or something else particularly off-the-wall. With my luck, though, the Social Anarchists will start calling me up asking for donations.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 May 2005
    • 1308
    Tim Buchheim wrote in to say...

    Yeah, I’m on both the MoveOn and DNC mailing lists. Both send me about four or five messages per week. (I was getting duplicates of all of them for a few months, but they seem to have stopped that at some point.)

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Thu 26 May 2005
    • 1114
    Matthew Brundage wrote in to say...

    Last year, I donated monthly to both Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc. and the RNC, but was getting only two pieces of mail per month from each organization, no e-mails, no door-to-door foot soldiers, and only one phone call (about two days before the deadline). I’m guessing that the Republican organizations just weren’t as desperate for cash as the other party.

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Thu 26 May 2005
    • 2339
    John Yuda wrote in to say...

    I keep getting letters from “Friends of John Kerry” asking for money. I can only assume it’s because Kerry intends to run for the nomination again in 2008.

    At any rate, my big complaint with this is that the letters are in all caps. I mean, honestly, if you’re going to harass me for money, at least make the letters vaguely legible.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Tue 31 May 2005
    • 2141
    Nick wrote in to say...

    You ought to join the Green Party instead. We are good about respecting the privacy of our members and generally don’t send too much mail. Plus, it’s a good party for independent minded “lefty” types with anarcho-libertarian streaks. As a bonus, when you tell that random big-party candidate you’re Green, they bend over backwards to actually impress you with actual positions on issues–instead of the fluffy crap they usually spew. Just an idea.

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