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@blueyeti promised us in Ricochet’s recent Focus Group that “We also do not sell your email addresses or anything else to third parties even though we get asked about it on a regular basis.” As testimony to how good Yeti’s promise is, let me share what happened right after I subscribed to some other well-known right-wing outlet (which shall remain nameless) just this fall. I’ve been a Ricochet member for years. And for years, the partisan demands on my money have been negligible. Few emails, no texts. Life was good. Then, I signed up at that other right-wing outlet:
Now random politicians won’t stop $exting me. You know what I’m talking about. $exting. Those endless texts demanding money, burning up your phone faster than you can block them. Various personas claiming to be “Newt” or “Mitch” or “Scalise” take credit for sending them, though it’s hard to imagine the sender as anyone other than some pitiable peon of a staffer or intern, unhappily grinding out the wheedling that’s below everyone else’s pay grade.
Is it the end of the year? Then that’s as good an excuse as any to demand your money:
(SLF) URGENT: The LAST major fundraising deadline of the year is approaching & Mitch McConnell NEEDS your help TODAY. EXPRESS DONATE HERE:
Beginning of the year? Same dang thing:
(SLF) OFFICIAL: It’s 2020 & Mitch McConnel needs YOU to help him start the year strong! GIVE NOW to help Mitch fight radical Democrats:
You’ll get $ext after $ext reminding you each time that now is positively your last chance:
Jim Jordan, Newt, Stefanik & Scalise all asked. Your LAST AND FINAL CHANCE to defend Trump from impeachment with a 5X-MATCH ends in 3 HOURS
Spoiler: It wasn’t my last and final chance. It never is.
At some point, all this official urgency is bound to escalate into ransom demands:
(SLF ABC XYZ LBGTQWERTY) URGENTEST OFFICIAL EMERGENCY URGENT!!!: Real Americans DESPISE all WASHED UP, WEENIE DEMS like ANTHONY WEINER. NOW is your last chance to STOP FUTURE WEINERS IN THEIR TRACKS. DONATE TODAY or we will text you ALL Weiner’s HOTTEST D**K PICS. DON’T SAY YOU WEREN’T WARNED.
Fortunately, the $exts promising something in return are usually more enticing than that. More, ah, carrot than stick (ugh!). T-shirts. Mugs. Hats. Wrapping paper.
Yes, wrapping paper. To the $exters’ credit, the Trump wrapping paper offered to me dozens of times throughout the pre-Christmas season was pretty classy — I suppose as classy as any wrapping consisting of one name repeated over and over again can be. Its graphic design was well-balanced, the color selection, tasteful. I still don’t know what regular Americans would use the wrapping for, but just like Chinese characters look stylish enough for gweilos to use them as decoration without really knowing what they mean, someone who didn’t read Roman characters might find the wrapping paper equally pleasing.
That said, the offers of $exting $wag seem a bit unimaginative overall. How many hats, mugs, and shirts could one ordinary donor need? They should mix it up a little. Of all the $exts I got during the House impeachment vote, I’m a bit miffed I didn’t get this one:
URGENT ALERT: House DEMONRATS voted to impeach today. This is an OUTRAGEOUS outrage. Our databanks show you haven’t expressed your outrage in COLD HARD CA$H yet. But it’s not too late! Show you STAND WITH TRUMP with this CLASSY outrage tiki mask:
My parents were hardly slouches when it came to right-wing partisanship. Thanks to them, I got all my talk-radio-listening out of my system while I was still growing up. Still, they detested partisan demands for money as exploitative and crass. Who do these pols think voters are, they wondered, cash cows to be milked at every opportunity? The growling consignment of Republican fundraising demands to File 13 became a family ritual. Who am I to mess with family tradition?
So, dear Republican operatives, if you really want me to donate someday, would you please for the love of all that is holy stop $exting me? Every $ext curdles the milk of my partisan kindness just that little bit more. And thanks, Ricochet: I know the $exts aren’t your fault.