Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

The Unsavory Political Art of Fear-Mongering and Fundraising

Author: TJ OHara
Created: 22 April, 2019
Updated: 14 August, 2022
4 min read

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -  The DNC and RNC have evolved into fundraising organizations. Their elected officials no longer offer cogent solutions to our nation’s challenges. They simply try to fan the flames of hyper-partisan positions and extract money as they go; a practice that is particularly in evidence during the run-up to a presidential election.

If you ever venture onto one of the parties’ websites, you will almost immediately begin to receive “personal” emails from high-ranking government officials, their family members, and a few famous celebrities. You are expected to believe that those individuals actually sent the emails to you.

In their quests for cash, both parties exploit harmless things such as presidential birthdays as well as those of their spouses. “Please sign the card… and make a donation.”  As campaigns become more expensive, expect the birthday solicitations to be expanded to include the birthdays of the president’s children, grandchildren, first cousins, gardener, etc. to help fill the gaps.

The parties also like to survey you as if your opinion matters. The issues are usually irrelevant (“Which bumper sticker design do your like?”) or self-serving (“How would you grade the President’s performance: A+, A, or A- ?”). When you try to submit your answer, you’ll be hustled for a donation.

You may even be able to have dinner with the president who, rest assured, is “really eager to meet you.” Just donate to enter the drawing.

In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly innocuous methods of separating you from your money. The more sinister ones are viciously opportunistic.

The Republican Party routinely features ominous warnings about “fake news” and media’s unfair assault on the president. It alerts you to how “witch hunts” and the “deep state” are destroying our country. You will be told that our nation is in danger of being overrun by murderous hordes if a wall isn’t built in time.

Correspondingly, the Democrat Party sees collusion and obstruction of justice behind every corner. It will claim it has “clear and convincing” evidence of such crimes, and when the facts don’t support the allegations, it will swear that there’s a cover-up in play. You will be warned that if action isn’t taken, a constitutional crisis that may well spell doom for our country is inevitable… assuming that the Republicans’ alleged advocacy for polluted air and water doesn’t kill us all first.

It’s worth noting that, in the spirit of cooperation, the parties often flip-flop on these positions depending upon which one holds the White House. You’re expected not to notice.

However, the most distasteful campaigns are the ones that exploit human suffering. When a horrific event occurs, the parties circle like vultures over a decaying carcass. They immediately default to their most polarizing positions that are designed to evoke visceral reactions among their respective bases.

For example, both parties shamelessly capitalize on mass shootings or a death either befalling or caused by an illegal immigrant. Apparently, tragedy plays well from a fundraising perspective.

In every case, the parties will selectively articulate facts that support their positions and ignore those that don’t. You are expected to be loyal to your chosen party’s position rather than to the truth.

On a positive note, all of our nation’s issues apparently can be solved for the amazingly low price of $3. That seems to be the threshold level for donations in our current political environment. Of course, it scales to $10, $25, $50, $100 and “other” should you be so inclined, but $3 is the magic number. It also seems that every one of your party’s candidates will lose if you don’t chip in $3.

Additionally, the need is always “URGENT” …particularly on the last day of an FEC reporting period. Of course, your donation will be equally important the next day. It will just have to be driven by a birthday, survey, or with any luck, a gruesome event. If all else fails, the parties will push the inevitable sale of tchotchke items like t-shirts, hats, pens and other memorabilia that are designed to make you feel like part of the team. Just be careful where you wear a MAGA hat.

If you’re offended by the intellectually demeaning way the parties solicit your money, do something about it. If you want to witness meaningful change in our political system, stop responding to the parties’ fundraising campaigns with a donation. If the monetary tap begins to run dry, they will be forced to change their tactics. It may even force them to try to earn your support by offering real candidates with actual solutions. Imagine how rewarding it would be to receive that type of solicitation… particularly with a presidential election cycle swinging into gear.

Photo Credit: Rrraum / shutterstock.com

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