Sunday, September 21, 2008

One vote, one never-ending means of harassment

“Hello, this is your friend and neighbor, Candidate So-and-so, and I’m calling to alert you, my good friend and neighbor, about the challenges and issues facing us as a group of good friends and neighbors…”

I never knew I had so many good friends until this election season rolled around. How do I know they are my good friends? They tell me so, every day, over the phone and through my mailbox. Apparently, I’m smart, savvy, above average in almost every way possible. They like me. They like my family. My needs may have been ignored in the past, but now that my special qualities are known that’s about to change. But, they tell me, I’m also a little bit blinded, deluded by messages of hope or change, probably confused by all the rhetoric floating around about this issue or that scandal. Gosh, I may even be somewhat stupid for not affiliating with the right party in the first place. They’re very understanding though, and so helpful.

My voter’s registration card bears the word “Independent.” In the past, that meant I was not constantly solicited for donations. A likeable feature, I figured, since I would rather give my charitable dollars to organizations that actually help people in need. People need food, shelter and proper health care before they need to learn how to become ultra-conservative right-wingers, or so I thought. My invitations to the $1000 plate chicken dinners with candidates were forever getting lost in the mail. Cinderella never got invited to the ball. This year, that glaring error has been remedied. I’ve gone A-list, baby. PACs, parties, people of every stripe want me, want 5 minutes of my valuable time. Bring your wallet (and your precious vote.)

This election year, more than most, “Independent” is the holy grail. I’ve been thrust from my comfortable, rarely canvassed anonymity to everyone’s BFF. They call me, mostly on weekends and after 6pm on weekdays, just to say hi (that’s about all I hear before the connection is severed anyway.) I’d be flattered at all this loving attention lavished on little ol’ me if the candidates and their minion didn’t drool so much over my voter’s registration card, it’s messing up my jeans.

So, to the guy who’s called me every day for the last 2 weeks, there’s no extra points for persistence in this game, pal. To bigoted freak who called yesterday about Prop 201, you’re giving Christians a bad rep. Stop it. To John and Barack, I’m sure you mean well but I don’t care if you’re handing out solid gold bars with every vote, I know spin when I hear it. To all the minor candidates who make so free with my unpublished, Do Not Call listed phone number, I don’t recall when or where we became good friends, your names are absent from my Christmas card list. If you are the neighbor who borrowed our folding table and chairs though, I want them back.

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