Last week Jon Stewart did a very good piece on the emails that the Democratic campaign has been sending out ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections.
(Theoretically you can see the video here. Except that in the UK, you can’t. It suggests you go to Comedy Central’s UK site, but that only has some extended interviews, and little in the way of the political pieces.)
Anyway, that’s all very well. What bearing does that have on a Brit like me, not living in the country and not having a vote?
Well for some unknown reason, I’ve ended up on the mailing list of the “Ready for Hillary” PAC. Now I’m sure that I could have taken myself off this list if I’d used the unsubscribe button. But I thought – why not get an idea of how this all works and what gets sent through? So I’ve been quietly ignoring and “archiving” their emails for months. I’ve ignored all the hullabaloo surrounding a not-very-good book. I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to go to a meal with her. I don’t want to sign her birthday card. In general, I’m a disinterested observer.
But while we wait to see if Hillary actually runs (OK, wait to see when she runs), my email address must have been shared with others in the Democratic campaigning world. Because I’ve been getting an awful lot of emails about an election that I don’t get a vote in, and taking place in a country I don’t live in.
In this instance it’s the “House Majority” PAC or Political Action Committee. And in a relatively short time, they’ve been sending a lot of emails over a relatively short period of time. This is what Stewart was talking about.
Since 28 September, so about three weeks ago, when I think the emails the started, I’ve had close to 60 messages. That obviously means plenty more than one a day – more like two a day. Then last week it was:
Oct 13 – 2
Oct 14 – 4
Oct 15 – 6
Oct 16 – 7
I think there was some kind of cut-off around then for fundraising. But 7 emails on the same subject in one day?
And then there are the subject lines. Full of gloom and despair:
“I am worried Adam”
“good news and bad news…”
“it gets worse…”
“we weren’t expecting this”
“even more of a shock”
“no easy way to say it”
“..not in a good place”
“our kitchen sink is next?”
“we are still grinding away”
Well I suppose that last one was vaguely encouraging. But otherwise, those are a selection of subjects (with punctuation intact) in chronological order. Given the overall nihilistic tone of this campaign, I don’t think I could summon up the will to “Chip in $25” after that lot.
I know the Tories and Labour have all been hiring their American election campaign managers and strategists. Top tip: don’t go all gloom and doom on us.
Update: I’ve received another THREE emails between first writing this piece earlier this evening, and hitting publish just now. I’m also slightly concerned that 38 Degrees are using the “Did you see this email…” format that sees multiple emails being sent with the same subject line.