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. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    David Foster (View Comment):
    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.

    I ignore these messages for any races out of my area. If they are in my area, I regard them as a reason to suspect the candidate is a RINO/GOPe and spend some time testing that theory.

    RNC = institutionalized cluelessness at best.

    • #31
  2. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    I’ve been dutifully clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of these emails and, while the flow hasn’t stopped, it has slowed down.

    • #32
  3. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I’ve been dutifully clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of these emails and, while the flow hasn’t stopped, it has slowed down.

    Me, too but the flow this way hasn’t slowed down much.

    • #33
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I’ve been dutifully clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of these emails and, while the flow hasn’t stopped, it has slowed down.

    The list sellers sell the email address list, not the unsubscribe list.

    Other than that, clicking on “Unsubscribe” just verifies that there is someone associated with the email address that opens the email.

    • #34
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Perhaps our politicians have embraced the ‘party of stupid’ concept. And in truth, you can’t win an election without at least some of the stupid vote. Suckers are born every minute and if fools are going to part with their money anyway, why shouldn’t the RNC be there to hoover it up? 

    But yeah, the come-ons are offensively stupid. The surveys, the personal messages, faux-folksy tones, the underlining and font size increases, the unconvincing handwritten bits…I find it sad and alienating. Their contempt motivates me to throw this stuff out before I get angry. 

    Like you, I assume it must work on someone. Which many help us win elections…yay. 

    • #35
  6. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I’ve been dutifully clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of these emails and, while the flow hasn’t stopped, it has slowed down.

    The list sellers sell the email address list, not the unsubscribe list.

    Other than that, clicking on “Unsubscribe” just verifies that there is someone associated with the email address that opens the email.

    Yes, I know all of the above, but I have noticed the decline in the spam.

    Since I have a couple of domains, I will use those for all political donations in the future.  That email just goes to the null device.  NL: in VMS and /dev/null/ in Linux.

    • #36
  7. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Arahant:

    is the party continuing to earn its moniker of the stupid party?

    Every day that ends in y and twice on Sundays.

    • #37
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Arahant:

    is the party continuing to earn its moniker of the stupid party?

    Every day that ends in y and twice on Sundays.

    That is what I suspected.

    • #38
  9. BDB Inactive
    BDB
    @BDB

    kedavis (View Comment):

    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.

    Right.  I figured out in the run-up to 2012 that it was all just Paramount Communications, using permission that must be granted somehwere in the RNC/GOP/Whatever-con-inc funding agreement, that they get to use the candidate’s name and write in first-person using that persona.

    It is all the same crap, it comes from the same place, and I’ve never felt like changing that diaper.

    To be reasonable, I’d say that they’ve made the decision that insulting and badgering me to the point that I no longer care must be really really worth it in their moron-milking calculus.  The fact that it seems to work well enough that it never stops is actually one of the most depressing things I’ve seen in politics.  It tells me that there are only a handful of us who see it and hate it.

    That’s a real gravity of despair right there.

    • #39
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    BDB (View Comment):
    That’s a real gravity of despair right there.

    Yep. And there ain’t no Ghostbusters to call for these ghosts of a dead party.

    • #40
  11. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    I don’t get the e-mails, but I do get the texts. Allow me to inject an optimistic note: at least they aren’t dumb enough to send a solicitation “from” Mitch McConnell. Baby steps, folks.

    • #41
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