I am a Democrat. A liberal, but Democrat is close enough.
I currently get about 20 emails a day asking me to contribute to someone’s campaign or just to the party coffers for some good cause or other. I support many of these causes, but I’ll never give a penny to any political party.
Why? Am I a fervent advocate of campaign corruption reform? Do I harbor a passionate and idealistic need to change the system and reform how politics is funded?
True, but that’s not why I refuse to contribute to any kind of political anything ever again.
In 2008, I donated a few dollars to Obama. I was pleased when he got elected. I donated a few more bucks in 2012.
As a thank you, I got spammed. Every Democrat running for office, every liberal group with a cause, sent me a thousand emails a week. Maybe more.
It kept getting worse. A new cause, a few hundred more emails. It reached an insane crescendo and I found myself just deleting everything without even trying to see what it was. One day, I spent an entire day, morning to evening, unsubscribing to what seemed to be every politician and cause looking for money. The incoming mail dropped to a bearable level.
Every time I had signed a petition or gone online to read a political post, I was automatically — without notification or permission — subscribed to the site and multiple mailing lists. I was just a piece of data being mined.
I don’t care how good the cause may be, that’s wrong. And it’s spam.
These days, I’m ultra careful what I read. More importantly, where I read it. I do not answer surveys. Ever. Nor do I fill out petitions, no matter how much I sympathize with the cause it represents.
The Democratic Party — all political parties, their candidates and causes (I actually found myself on the Conservative Republican mailing list because I read an article somewhere and they also signed me up) — are on my “not one red cent” list. Because a $3 dollar donation got me spammed. I was buried under electronic propaganda.
Know that if you are sufficiently naive to provide your phone number on a petition or survey, expect never-ending intrusive phone calls on your home or cell phone asking for donations or that you answer surveys.
If they want my opinion, they can pay for it.
The political funding system needs reformation. Equally in need of reform is the way all political groups feel free to use your personal information for their own purposes. They will subscribe you to their mailing and calling lists because you tried to read their literature. Which, in theory, is what they want you to do. Participating in politics — trying to be a good citizen — will get you bombarded with propaganda until you declare a plague on all their houses.
It’s not okay. Really, it’s not. It’s intrusive and sneaky. It is a massive abuse of my right to privacy. I did not agree to let everyone in the world use my personal data for their own personal goals.
Visiting a web site does not imply permission to invade my privacy. I do not know how other people handle this sort of thing, but it means that I will never donate a penny to anyone running for office — or in support of any of their causes. Ever.
They — both parties, all parties, all the pols — have done it to themselves. Before pointing fingers at “the system,” they need to admit that they are the system. They are the abusers.