Back in the early 1990s, I donated $10 to a women’s group fighting to keep abortion legal and unencumbered. This $10 put me on the “potential donor” list of every single political organization from left to right. It was before the Internet really took over, so although it filled my mailbox with paper and killed a lot of trees, I could just throw the junk away.

Election day 2012

When we moved in 2000, most of the paper didn’t trail after us.

Some of us are slow learners. In 2011, I gave $3 to Obama’s campaign, and for the past four years, the amount of spam my tiny donation generated has been beyond belief.


Apparently it’s policy for political parties to distribute our personal information to every pol and cause with whom they are even tangentially associated. It got to where my inbox had more than a thousand political spam messages every day. And the current presidential campaign hadn’t yet begun.

Last December, I blew up. I don’t know why I lasted as long as I did.

I spent an entire day unsubscribing to groups to which I never subscribed in the first place. These days, you don’t even have to sign or donate anything. All you have to do is visit a website. Someone will somehow grab your personal data and sell it. Which is how come I was targeted by all the parties. I was being spammed by Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, and Conservatives.

election-2016 head butt

It took me about 8 hours of clicking “unsubscribe.” Half of the sites asked me why I was unsubscribing. If I clicked “too much email,” they asked me if they sent less, would I stay subscribed?

If they had sent a lot less, I wouldn’t have needed to unsubscribe.

I unsubscribed to everything. Globally. From far left, to ultra right. My inbox stopped filling up every day.

Photo credit: CBS News

Photo credit: CBS News

A plague on all the houses. I won’t contribute to anyone’s cause or campaign. I won’t even visit their websites. And that’s a real shame because I used to really enjoy the political process and participating in it.

If anyone reading this is involved in political campaign management? You are your own worst enemies. Deluging supporters with junk mail and intrusive phone calls is a poor way to say “thank you.” It doesn’t get donations. It drives people away from your worthy causes.

You should think about this.

Categories: Humor, Politics

Tags: , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Around here there’s all these contests where you can win a trip/phone/ipad or whatever and all you have to do, is to leave your phone number and your email (and also giving them the right to spam you with shit from their partners).


    • Them too. But the political ones are in constant hyper-drive. I didn’t think it was possible to churn out that much crap that frequently. And it really IS crap. All crap all the time.


  2. Why would anyone want to donate to something when this is the result?


  3. If you go in for any service, what so ever, they want you to rate them by email – How did I do today? Of course that is so they can get your email and plague you with spam. Stores try to get your email address, even the dentist wants your email.


    • And all those “discount cards” for supermarkets and other stores? They are data collectors. Every time you use one in a store anywhere, they sell your data on the open market to whoever will pay the price. I doubt they check the bonafides of those to whom they sell, either.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. since I don’t visit political sites for any reason, and usually use my yahoo addresses and not my real one anyway when stepping into the mire out there, I dont have too much trouble online. At one point Yahoo was the repository for several hundred spam messages daily, but now and then I’d go in, hit “spam” and poof they were gone. Now Yahoo has somehow changed its policy and there is virtually no spam at all.
    I also use the junk filter on my email, and what I send there gets no mercy. after the first one, the email package remembers.

    As to political mail, I noticed this year it was big cardboard sheets, some of them foldovers, 8×10 or half sheets. Glossy, colored. Stove starters.

    You can send this stuff back, I used to do it frequently; send it back to the address they are sending it from, but put it all in a large manila envelope, no return addy, and a forever stamp. Put in in the drop box at the postoffice, no one can get ya that way. We were pulling in maybe five or ten sheets like this daily. I use them to start the morning fire, but it does seem like such a waste of money.

    Annnnd the phone calls. They ask me who Im voting for (we get the republican ones) and I say, Bernie Sanders. Click. If I got the dems, I’d say Trump. Click.

    It’s the waste of resources that annoys me.


    • We get everybody from left to right — and I’m sure that means something, but I don’t know what. It’s not just the online stuff. The CVS card collects data to sell to data miners as does every other “store card.” One of the reasons we shop at Hannaford is they DON’T have a card. If it’s on sale, you get the on sale price. They don’t collect your data. Even local shops are doing it now because it’s another income stream. One of the ironies is that the biggest places like Amazon don’t sell their data because they have sufficient subsidiaries of their own. They don’t need to do it and it’s a selling point with consumers that they don’t sell our data. But CVS? Staples? Costco? BJ’s? AND most banks, too. Nothing is private. Our permission is embedded in that long document nobody reads and we all agree to as part of the “terms of service.”


  5. I completely agree. Even though I am retired , my ADD spare time is filled with reading and clearing my inbox each day. I should be reading in a more sustained way my novels instead.


    • Spam filters have gotten rid of several dozen Nigerian prince who were going to make me rich, but you can’t filter out political or advertising spam so easily. The only way is to sit down and with each message, unsubscribe. They have a million different names for their organizations. Just because they all look similar doesn’t mean they are generated out of the same server, so you have to get off each list separately. No shortcut available.


  6. Now if we could just find a way to put a stop to Junk snail mail, that would be heaven. Someone suggested to just return it unopened since the postage has already been paid, they’ll just get charged an extra fee and the Post Office has to return it. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m thinking’. Failing that I feel good about my liberal use of the recycling process.., but it did cost me for a shredder to hopefully present a deterrent to identity stealing by dumpster divers. I shred anything with my name and address etc., on it


    • We’ve done pretty well with getting rid of MOST of the paper junk mail, but like you, we are besieged with phone calls and email to the point of near madness. I think YOU get more of those calls that I do … and they are relentless. I suspect it’s because you are more polite than I am. I just click off without engaging. You mess with them. I think that just encourages them to keep trying.


  7. I did think about this and no longer subscribe to anything, although we still get flooded with unwanted mail, but that is more advertising and wanders into the bin. A good solution here is that if someone passes on, instead of flowers you get an account number in the obit in the newspaper to voluntarily donate in the name of the deceased. It is a worthy memory and the organisations usually send a thankyou note, but that is all.


    • These days, I guess everywhere, data is big business. Collecting the personal data of everybody is a huge industry. The sale of mailing lists means billions of dollars for corporations, so funeral donations may be the last place that DOESN’T collect personal information. I gave up any hope of real privacy when I began blogging … but even I have limits.


  8. I once had a spare email address that I used when signing up for anything online so that any spam I’d end up unleashing on myself went there. It was fascinating some of the mailing lists I’d end up on. Probably the oddest was from my college alma mater, who I’ve had nothing to do with since I graduated and never even mention when I’m online…. yet somehow, they found me at my junk mail address so they could virtually beg for donations. This was almost 15 years ago… long before social media as we know it today existed. I wonder if Mecca is watching me as I type this….


    • I used to change email addresses every few months to keep the sharks circling the wrong victim. I got tired of running, but I may have to do something just to preserve my sanity. You don’t even have to sign anything. They find you. The NSA could take lessons from the pols and corporate advertisers. Maybe they do … take lessons, I mean.


  9. I recently did the same thing, unsubscribing to all those spam sites. I also have stopped donations to organizations that send appeals on a weekly basis. I really don’t want to donate money to fill my mailbox, even if the cause is a good one, and most seem to spend more than my donation asking for more!!


    • I completely agree. I wouldn’t have minded once a week if they hadn’t distributed my email address and phone number to a million other political fund-raising groups. It totally turned me off to ever giving money to anyone in anyone connected to politics.


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