Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Unsubscribing from The DCCC

I imagine most of you are getting the same kind of hysterical emails from the DCCC that I am, with headings like:


"SHOCKING NEWS! (Special Election)"



or the ever hopeful:


They all turn out to be fund-raising emails (of course), and they aren't asking for much, even $1.  But they are like a three-year-old who really, really, really, wants JUST ONE MORE cookie.  The begging never ends.

The content is either we have Trump on the run, or Trump has us on the run.  In other words, moronic.  There is nothing about issues, or about why any of us would want to care, much less donate a dollar.

I have had some terrible jobs in my life, but I have never had to fund-raise.  I may be wrong, and this ham-handed, annoying, harassing technique may actually bring in millions of dollars, and may get people really fired up about the candidate.  So I asked a group of friends who had the DCCC for a penpal how they responded.  "I don't even read those anymore."  "I just throw them away."  "No, I've never given them anything."  My unofficial poll was unanimous.

And it isn't just DCCC.  Other Democratic groups, including candidates themselves, have taken on that exact same format, although I have to say, Archie does work to achieve a folksier tone in his messages (I may have made a fortune at Goldman Sachs, but I really am still one of y'all.).

Now a couple of months ago, our own South Carolina Democratic Party actually changed their modus operandi, and began to send messages that were actually relevant to issues that affected our lives.  And today, first out of the corral, with a bright new party chairman and a candidate for the general election, came the SCDP's email, with the heading:

"SC's Next Congressman:  Archie Parnell"

Trav Robertson, SCDP via 

9:53 AM (4 hours ago)
to me
Dear Agnes,
As the general election campaign in the 5th Congressional District special election begins, I want to thank all three Democratic candidates—Alexis Frank, Les Murphy, and Archie Parnell—for throwing their hats into the ring and for running a positive, issues-focused campaign.  Pursuing elective office requires significant sacrifice, but in this challenging time, we need Democrats throughout South Carolina to follow their example and become candidates for offices up and down the ballot.  
Congratulations to Archie Parnell on becoming the Democratic nominee!  Archie won the most votes of any candidate in either party, reflecting broad support among voters who want a congressman who will fight for people in the 5th District.  Archie is committed to lowering the cost of prescription drugs, cutting taxes for the middle class, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and preventing corporations from hoarding money overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
The choice on June 20 will be clear.  Join us in uniting behind Archie Parnell, and let's put him on the path to victory!
Trav Robertson
Chair, SCDP 
Paid for by the South Carolina Democratic Party
South Carolina Democratic Party
915 Lady Street, Suite 111
Columbia SC 29201 United States

Not to be too snarky, but you just can't turn SC blue by telling us we can do it.  Or that it is important.  I truly hope you plan on pacing yourselves with the Parnell emails.  Because: congrats, SCDP, you've managed to be the first to begin the process of immunizing the voters to the fact that there is an election coming up.  And sending a special message to the young potential voters by encapsulating Archie's goals of tackling the cost of prescription drugs and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

What I would like to suggest here is:

1.  Stop sending fund-raising emails.  Nobody reads them anymore, nobody likes them, they are an insult to our intelligence.  In fact, if you do find someone who donates a dollar every time they get an email, you might want to consider that it is being sent ironically.

2.  If you really, really, really want people to get involved in this election, tell them what is going on.  Busy people can't possibly know all the terrible things the House of Representatives has been up to.  If you send a news alert every couple days that has one sentence about a bill that those creeps are voting on or actually passed, with a message that Archie Parnell (or Jon Ossoff, or that bluegrass musician in Montana) would oppose those bills or even would propose their own bill)... well, now even I might be interested.  You could even put an unobtrusive link at the bottom for donations and I wouldn't mind.  Just for god's sake, end with the name of the candidate, the office, and the DATE OF THE ELECTION -- for god's sake.

Because when you don't do that, it's like you aren't even pretending this is about winning an election and changing the bad things that are being done to our country by the republican Congress.  It's like you want people to just send you money for the sake of making money.  Jeez, even Donald Trump sends out a pair of socks when he gets a donation.

3.  Actually listen to the people.  Pay somebody to not just put some thought into those emails, but one who understands the issues and will respond to people who attempt to communicate.  This is actually the most important thing you can do to get a candidate elected.  Because if somebody is going out of their way to send you a message, a reply is going to be memorable, and appreciated.  Enough so that they might even end up sending a donation and more important, telling their friends about it.

It seems that Archie Parnell had a lot of people on the ground being his surrogate.  I don't think that is going to work because Archie just doesn't have the passion to fight for the people, and it shows.  But I hope I am wrong.  Jon Ossoff has the passion.  He is also a progressive, despite what Bernie thinks.  He understands the issues as well as the quality of life that is at stake.  Ossoff might have been helped by the DCCC but it is communicating his message to people who got excited about him that will win him the election.

If the DCCC can help with that, maybe their emails won't get sent to spam quite so often.  And maybe next time I find myself on their email list, I won't hit "unsubscribe."

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