Screen shot 2010-11-02 at 8.42.36 AM.pngOkay – I’ve about had it. It is officially Election Day which means after today the emails, the crank calls, the signs, the flyers and the dirty campaign ads will be gone! I have to say, I remember about three years ago signing up to receive emails from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. At times, I actually was interested in what they were sending to me – the invites for private dinners that would cost me at least 1,000 dollars if I actually took them up on my offer; the promises they planned to make if they landed the top spot in Washington and much much more.
But a funny thing happened after President Obama took office and Hillary Clinton began travelling around the globe as Secretary of State. The emailing didn’t stop. In fact, I’m convinced that the Democratic Party took my sign of being interested in the election to mean that I wanted to be on every single mailing list they were shooting out to unsuspecting voters like me. And that meant that suddenly, without warning, even though I never remember signing up to receive anything from Kristin Gillibrand, I was soon becoming her BFF – receiving at least 3-5 emails per week. Coming from behind was Chuck Schumer – who I really do like since my dad knew him before he actually became a big time senator when he lived in Brooklyn and would make appearances at school events and civic meetings.
Today, I also received an email from Mitch Stewart – he’s Barack Obama’s official e-newsletter representative. I receive emails from Mitch at least five times a week. And the emails usually have cliches in the subject head. Today it’s: Organizing for America: It’s Game Time.
I also received an email today from Representative Chris Van Hollen – I have no idea who the heck he is but he thanked me for his support (no problem Chris) and then encouraged me to use social media to spread the word about voting, the Democrats, yada yada yada.
There were plenty more emails I received, but these were just a few that found their way into my mailbox this morning.
And let us not forget the phone calls. I don’t know about you, but I personally love it when my home phone and business line ring at the exact same time and I pick one of them up only to hear a recorded message from a politician who starts spouting about the importance of voting, or shares their track record on certain issues. Last week I hung up on John McCain (my husband is Republican). Honestly, if the real John McCain had called our house, I would not have slammed the phone down back into the receiver. It’s just that when politicians reduce themselves to the role of telemarketers, I am not buying.
Let’s move on to the airwaves. This past Saturday, I was watching News12 Westchester and caught a heated debate between Suzi Oppenheimer and Bob Cohen. Both seemed interesting enough until Suzi was asked a question and she proceeded to hurl about a dozen insults Bob’s way, including calling him a slum lord. Yikes. Now if Bob is a slum lord, then Suzi – way to go – but if there is any inkling, that maybe, just maybe he’s not really that bad, I would call those comments slanderous. Why do politicians feel the need to bring out the awful backgrounds of their opponents instead of discussing what they will honestly do differently when they are in office? Can anyone please tell me why no one can stop the rising costs of my property taxes? Honestly, if someone came into office and told me they could reduce our taxes by a few thousand dollars, then they’d get my vote.
What will not get my vote are crank callers, spammers, sour grapes politicians who delight in hurling insults or threatening each other (sorry Carl Paladino – had to call you out on that one). What will get my vote are the politicians who go old school – like Amy Paulin – who actually came out to New Rochelle this week to judge a community Halloween parade in Wilmot Woods. It was funny, when I first saw her, I thought she was a woman dressed up as Amy Paulin and then discovered it was really her. Way to go Amy – thanks for actually paying a visit and meeting your neighbors face to face then emailing us into submission.
So now that I’ve aired my complaints about the current state of campaigning, here’s my two cents. Politicians – please stop spamming me. If you want to call me – then seriously, pick up the phone and don’t use your recorded voice. Invite me out – but don’t make me pay to meet you. Give a speech that puts faith back in the system and don’t abuse social media. If you have a Facebook fan page, great – that means people are interested in hearing what you have to say. But do not clog my inbox every day with emails I never signed up for in the first place. Please get back to the basics – find out what we care about and what bugs us and work hard to try to address those issues. And if you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to hang up the phone, lay off mailchimp and find another line of work.