Thursday, July 29, 2004

An Open Letter to John Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry,

I received your letter today.  You know the one -- it begins with, "I am rushing this message to you just hours after accepting the Democratic nomination."  Good trick, that, as I received the letter this afternoon, before you accepted the nomination.  Not to mention mailing time.  Really, Senator, if you have the ability to travel back in time to mail letters, I think you should be more up-front about it.  Imagine the sort of harm that could be averted if we had a President who could send warning letters to the past.  Boy, that'd stop the terrorists cold!

Back to your letter.  In an oversized envelope.  With the big red line across the top and the "Open Immediately" on it.  The one made to look like some sort of overnight letter -- with the "package tracking number," "sender's account number" and fake handwriting typed in to look like you filled out a shipping form to send this letter to me all personal-like.  The "Extremely Urgent:  Recipient Please Hand Deliver to Addressee" just adds to the image.

Why the deceit, Senator?  It's a perfectly normal letter.  Why do you feel the necessity to dress up your correspondence like it's some overnight letter I must be handed with great solemnity?  Do you have so little faith in your message that you think I'd just throw away anything you might send me by regular mail?  Do you have so little faith in my intelligence that you think I'd be fooled by this for an instant?  We're all grown-ups here, Senator.  Leave these tactics to the magazine sellers and mortgage refinancers -- can't my future President just write me a freakin' letter?

(And this isn't the first time.  The last time you asked me for money it was in a phone call.  I answered the phone and got a prerecorded message from you.  "If you want to help me send George Bush back to Texas, press 1."  Please.  We're trying to elect a President, not a new Mr. Moviefone.  And use a little sense here.  I'm on the Do Not Call list.  Yes, I know, you politicians made sure you were exempt from that.  But if I don't want newspaper salespeople disturbing my dinner with phone calls, what makes you think I want you doing it?  Really.  Begging letters dressed up like overnight mail and prerecorded phone calls -- what's next?  Spam?)

On to the content, then. 

Big surprise, it's a letter from the DNC, asking for money.  (Of course, it's over your signature, so I assume you authorized it.) 

You know I already gave you money, right?  (Of course you do.  The minute you received my check, I'm certain my name and address got added to every freakin' Democratic fund-raising databank from sea to shining sea.)  A little acknowledgement might have been nice.  How hard would it have been to draft up a form letter for previous contributors?  Maybe something along the lines of "Thanks for your previous contribution.  Now that the campaign is entering a critical phase, I have to ask you to dig deeper, blah blah blah."  'Cause, boy, there is nothing that makes me feel happier about my previous decision to give you money than the fact that you appear to be using that money to ask me to give you more money.

When I give money to a charity, they tell me where it is going.  When I give money to the local homeless shelter, they tell me how many turkey dinners my contribution will buy.  When I give money to an AIDS charity, they tell me what percentage of my money will actually go to help sick people.

Lord knows the DNC is no charity.  But it would be interesting, I think, to receive a begging letter from you that -- rather than containing broad stirring rhetoric about a grassroots campaign to take back the White House -- actually told me what you want to do with my money.  Be real, now.  Of the money you hope these letters will raise, what percentage actually will go to your campaign for the White House?  How much will go to fund other races the DNC wants to pay for (which I might not even support)?  How much will go to foot the bill for that great big party you just had in Boston?  How much will go to putting more of these letters in my mailbox?

I want to know where my money goes, Senator.  (What can I say?  My father is a Republican.)  You're already getting my vote.  You already got a small contribution.  But before I send you another dime, I want some sort of guarantee that you won't spend that dime on postage to send me another Super Urgent Express begging letter.


pegluh said...

You should also tell Sen. Kerry that you actually committed a crime by assaulting and (assuming you had good aim) battered some poor schlub with roll up socks.  He obviously does not accept the depth of your dedication for The Party.  Oh the humanity!  

grodygeek said...

Nice letter, NZ. I may not agree with you on who to vote on, but I like every thing you said. And I fully support your right to follow your choice with contributions. Damn, NZ, when you're good, you're really good.

The cycling comic

annalisa135 said...

Excellent points all of them!!!

Yes charities always thank you, not necessarily a form letter either.  They take the time to actually sign it not stamp it.  Sometimes they send their annual reports, newsletters, and other information about their organization.  I think that is wonderful, and definitely leads to me donating again and again.  

I guess a simple "thank you" just isn't possible to these people.  

I remember writing to Sen. Santorum about a few issues.....I immediately started the letter out...."I would appreciate a direct response.  I do not want to receive a form letter back in regards to these issues."     So what happened?  It took a LONG LONG LONG time to get a response, and when I did.....It was 4 pages long, and still stamped, not signed.  

Makes you feel real important, doesn't it?

merelyp said...

it sucks that we have puppets for president, don't it?

I want Martin Sheen with Aaron Sorkin the sole cabinet member.  

Clueless in WestWingLand,