My Life Story, or Am I the One Who Is Out of Touch?

 

Many years ago Mitchell and Webb did a comedy sketch as two German officers in WWII where one asks, “Are we the baddies?” There they are with the Death’s Head symbols on their hats and coffee mugs suspecting that something could be amiss with the side they’ve chosen.

I just received an e-mail from a politician with the subject line of, “My Life Story.” Now, this is a politician from another state for whom I cannot vote for anything, unless he has decided to run for a lower office. (Those who know the Constitution know what I mean here.) Even if I could vote for him, what possible reason could he have for thinking that I want to know anything about him or his life story? I don’t care about his life story. I care about his voting record and what he is doing behind the scenes with legislation in the cloak room. Do people actually open these sorts of campaign e-mails?

I have, a few times and for various reasons in the past, given to politicians. This has gotten me on the e-mail lists for every Republican running anywhere, including ancient Rome. It is very seldom that I can vote for any of these people, but they want my money and support, because I’m important to the cause. (Or, because I got onto the sucker’s list they pass around.) 99.9% of these e-mails I delete without reading, such as ones with the subject line of, “My Life Story.” Which brings me back to the question ending the previous paragraph. Do people actually open these sorts of campaign e-mails? And how out of touch is the party to be sending e-mails out with such stupid subject lines?

And this is where my Mitchell and Webb moment came along. I didn’t ask if we were the baddies. Instead, I asked, Am I the one who is out of touch? Are these e-mails working for the party? Does anyone care whether the Speaker of the House was born a poor Black child? Am I the only one who sees that subject line and asks, “Mister Speaker, you probably think this song is about you, don’t you?” Maybe I am gaslighting myself to believe that the party has marketing experts and polling firms and other tools in place to help craft their messages? Do these e-mails work? Could e-mails that are a little less pompous sounding work better?

Help me out, friends. I want to know. Am I the one who is out of touch? Or is the party continuing to earn its moniker of the stupid party?

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    For those who need it:

    • #1
  2. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I assume that unsolicited emails are some flavor of phishing and delete the en masse.   But I suppose like most mass contact advertising they are playing for the 1/2 of 1%.   And it’s cheap.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    And it’s cheap.

    Not of my time.

    • #3
  4. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    There is a tendency on both sides to look to politicians for salvation in some degree. It started with Kennedy, and reached a pinnacle (nadir) with the Lightbringer… I still get sick at the stomach remembering the kindergarten kids singing songs about Obama. 

    I don’t expect a politician to be a savior; I’ve already got one, thank you very much. An election is not a search for a priest, it’s a job interview. 

     

    • #4
  5. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    Every election cycle when I am inundated with political flyers (primarily from the local pols running) I wonder whether the political consultants get a kick back ( … or whether the consultants may have an equity interest …)from the printing companies contracted to print and mail the political flyers which will make an immediate beeline from our mailboxes to our garbage bins.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    I don’t expect a politician to be a savior; I’ve already got one, thank you very much. An election is not a search for a priest, it’s a job interview. 

    Amen, Douglas.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Not to belabor the point, but “My Life Story” sounds like he wants to say how great he is, rather than tell me what he’s up to. What are you up to, Mister Speaker? Are you sneaking around playing footsie with Democrats and other America-haters like the last speaker? Why aren’t you telling me about the accomplishments of the Republican Party? Could it be that there are none?

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant: I have, a few times and for various reasons in the past, given to politicians. This has gotten me on the e-mail lists for every Republican running anywhere, including ancient Rome.

    The Roman Republicans were just phoning it in. Or heliographing it in. Except for Brutus, Cassius, and those guys.

    It is very seldom that I can vote for any of these people, but they want my money and support, because I’m important to the cause. (Or, because I got onto the sucker’s list they pass around.) 99.9% of these e-mails I delete without reading, such as ones with the subject line of, “My Life Story.” Which brings me back to the question ending the previous paragraph. Do people actually open these sorts of campaign e-mails? And how out of touch is the party to be sending e-mails out with such stupid subject lines?

    I pitch them.

    • #8
  9. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I am with you 100%, Arahant. The texts and the e-mails are ubiquitous and equally irritating. The first thing I ask myself is, how did this person get my phone number/e-mail? And the first answer I give myself is WinRed. Then I, like you, wonder why these people think this is effective, rather than simply maddening. Here’s the thinking: “If we really piss our supporters off, they will send us lots of money just to go away. But then, haha, we also get their phone number and email with an additional confirmation that this is a multiple-time sucker…better double up on the harassment.”

    Oh, and what about those polls? “Vote if you think the government should spend less money. Let us know your opinion!” OK, I’ll vote. And then, BOOM, “We need $50 to process your vote.” Who are these people? We are paying to get people elected who are ruining our country. And it’s not even tax deductible!

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):
    I pitch them.

    I’m getting old and decrepit. I doubt I could pitch these politicians very far. I can probably still lift them, though.

    • #10
  11. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    My favorite is the “I am about to give up” email, where my contribution is the only thing that will keep this person (in some other random state) in the race.

    Sure, buddy. Good luck.

    I know it’s cheap to send email, but I can’t imagine these are worth the time spent at the RNC writing them. And if you look carefully, the details suggest they are all from the RNC, just with different names.

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    Every election cycle when I am inundated with political flyers (primarily from the local pols running)

    The older I get, and the more I look back on my accomplishments, I suspect my greatest accomplishment was in helping one local candidate see that he should not run for office. If only more people could convince people not to run, maybe we would have no governments at all.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Headedwest (View Comment):
    And if you look carefully, the details suggest they are all from the RNC, just with different names.

    I have noticed that, yes.

    • #13
  14. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    My favorite is the “I am about to give up” email, where my contribution is the only thing that will keep this person (in some other random state) in the race.

    Sure, buddy. Good luck.

    I know it’s cheap to send email, but I can’t imagine these are worth the time spent at the RNC writing them. And if you look carefully, the details suggest they are all from the RNC, just with different names.

    By the time you get to the very bottom of every one, you will find WinRed. If you like a particular politician, the only way to give privately to them without sharing your information is to search for their website and donate there. But I am not sure that would work either. The recipient may be obligated to turn their donor list over to the RNC.

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I get *photographs* of politicians, sometimes with & sometimes without their families.

    Pretty high level of narcissism.

    There are also ‘membership cards’

    I also get demands to contribute by X date, which is their ‘FEC reporting deadline.’  It’s never explained why this deadline is important.

    Something is definitely wrong with most Republican (both RNC etc and individual campaigns) marketing.  It feels like people going through the motions of tricks they learned long ago, like a modern IT person trying to apply punched-card data processing techniques.

     

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    David Foster (View Comment):
    It feels like people going through the motions of tricks they learned long ago, like a modern IT person trying to apply punched-card data processing techniques.

    I like this analogy. Then again, maybe they think we’re that old because we use e-mail. We probably also write in complete sentences instead of leet-speak. Dinosaur techniques for dinosaurs.

    • #16
  17. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Our one foray into politics was when Valerie ran in the local Republican primary. It was a strategic move to get candidates on the Town Board who were opposed to the company that was trying to build a wind farm here. Even though she lost the election, the gambit worked; the Supervisor and two of the four Board members we wanted got elected, and Lighthouse Wind is dead. It was a fun campaign, with Valerie polishing her debate skills and going door to door. She only lost by five votes. We didn’t do any mailings, but we did have lots of yard signs. There is an industry ready to sell you campaign support stuff, not unlike the wedding invitation biz.

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Our one foray into politics was when Valerie ran in the local Republican primary. It was a strategic move to get candidates on the Town Board who were opposed to the company that was trying to build a wind farm here. Even though she lost the election, the gambit worked; the Supervisor and two of the four Board members we wanted got elected, and Lighthouse Wind is dead. It was a fun campaign, with Valerie polishing her debate skills and going door to door. She only lost by five votes. We didn’t do any mailings, but we did have lots of yard signs. There is an industry ready to sell you campaign support stuff, not unlike the wedding invitation biz.

    Truly a non-politician, your wife was happy losing her race as long as she won her point.

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    cdor (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Our one foray into politics was when Valerie ran in the local Republican primary. It was a strategic move to get candidates on the Town Board who were opposed to the company that was trying to build a wind farm here. Even though she lost the election, the gambit worked; the Supervisor and two of the four Board members we wanted got elected, and Lighthouse Wind is dead. It was a fun campaign, with Valerie polishing her debate skills and going door to door. She only lost by five votes. We didn’t do any mailings, but we did have lots of yard signs. There is an industry ready to sell you campaign support stuff, not unlike the wedding invitation biz.

    Truly a non-politician, your wife was happy losing her race as long as she won her point.

    Or, on reflection, the ultimate politician. Bend others to your will.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Ronald Reagan once said that there was no telling what you could accomplish if you didn’t care who got credit for it.

    • #20
  21. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    cdor (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Our one foray into politics was when Valerie ran in the local Republican primary. It was a strategic move to get candidates on the Town Board who were opposed to the company that was trying to build a wind farm here. Even though she lost the election, the gambit worked; the Supervisor and two of the four Board members we wanted got elected, and Lighthouse Wind is dead. It was a fun campaign, with Valerie polishing her debate skills and going door to door. She only lost by five votes. We didn’t do any mailings, but we did have lots of yard signs. There is an industry ready to sell you campaign support stuff, not unlike the wedding invitation biz.

    Truly a non-politician, your wife was happy losing her race as long as she won her point.

    Daughter. She has a degree in Politics and International Relations, so I always expected her to go into it on some level; she was active in several campaigns in northern Virginia. It was fun being her campaign manager, filling out ridiculous amounts of compliance paperwork. These days she is developing other interests, working in quality assurance for a local manufacturer, polishing off Six Sigma and thinking about going after a Masters. Don’t get me started bragging about my kids, it will be a really ugly case of thread hijacking. 

    • #21
  22. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Nyah  nyah, I’m more out of touch than you are. 

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started bragging about my kids, it will be a really ugly case of thread hijacking. 

    Maybe, but better hearing about your kids than some politician’s life that’s probably manufactured for fundraising purposes.

    • #23
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Nyah nyah, I’m more out of touch than you are.

    It’s bad when you get to the point of wanting to win that competition.

    “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    My favorite is the “I am about to give up” email, where my contribution is the only thing that will keep this person (in some other random state) in the race.

    Sure, buddy. Good luck.

    I know it’s cheap to send email, but I can’t imagine these are worth the time spent at the RNC writing them. And if you look carefully, the details suggest they are all from the RNC, just with different names.

    Ah, but nobody is writing each one separately.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David Foster (View Comment):

    I get *photographs* of politicians, sometimes with & sometimes without their families.

    Pretty high level of narcissism.

    There are also ‘membership cards’

    I also get demands to contribute by X date, which is their ‘FEC reporting deadline.’ It’s never explained why this deadline is important.

    Something is definitely wrong with most Republican (both RNC etc and individual campaigns) marketing. It feels like people going through the motions of tricks they learned long ago, like a modern IT person trying to apply punched-card data processing techniques.

     

    Well, it’s important that they get you to donate before each timeline deadline so then they can ask you again before the next one.

    • #26
  27. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    cdor (View Comment):

    I am with you 100%, Arahant. The texts and the e-mails are ubiquitous and equally irritating. The first thing I ask myself is, how did this person get my phone number/e-mail? And the first answer I give myself is WinRed. Then I, like you, wonder why these people think this is effective, rather than simply maddening. Here’s the thinking: “If we really piss our supporters off, they will send us lots of money just to go away. But then, haha, we also get their phone number and email with an additional confirmation that this is a multiple-time sucker…better double up on the harassment.”

    Oh, and what about those polls? “Vote if you think the government should spend less money. Let us know your opinion!” OK, I’ll vote. And then, BOOM, “We need $50 to process your vote.” Who are these people? We are paying to get people elected who are ruining our country. And it’s not even tax deductible!

    Pity the poor folks on Mayor Pete’s lists.  

    • #27
  28. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    My favorite is the “I am about to give up” email, where my contribution is the only thing that will keep this person (in some other random state) in the race.

    Sure, buddy. Good luck.

    I know it’s cheap to send email, but I can’t imagine these are worth the time spent at the RNC writing them. And if you look carefully, the details suggest they are all from the RNC, just with different names.

    The transition to AI is in the works.  

    • #28
  29. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    cdor (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Our one foray into politics was when Valerie ran in the local Republican primary. It was a strategic move to get candidates on the Town Board who were opposed to the company that was trying to build a wind farm here. Even though she lost the election, the gambit worked; the Supervisor and two of the four Board members we wanted got elected, and Lighthouse Wind is dead. It was a fun campaign, with Valerie polishing her debate skills and going door to door. She only lost by five votes. We didn’t do any mailings, but we did have lots of yard signs. There is an industry ready to sell you campaign support stuff, not unlike the wedding invitation biz.

    Truly a non-politician, your wife was happy losing her race as long as she won her point.

    That still makes her a citizen politician.  

    • #29
  30. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started bragging about my kids, it will be a really ugly case of thread hijacking.

    Maybe, but better hearing about your kids than some politician’s life that’s probably manufactured for fundraising purposes.

    Newsome, for example.  

    • #30
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