Monday, September 19, 2016

Sure I’m for Hillary, but STOP YELLING!

By Dominique Paul Noth

To all the email money-raisers peppering my in-box, yes I’m reasonably responsive, as if you really care, yes I’m voting for Russ and both he and Hillary are on my front lawn and I am listed as financial supporter.  But my responsibility is to them, not you.

I’m sure there is some professionally prominent telemarketer behind your methods who thinks he knows how to motivate the herd for political survival, but I for one am sick and tired of your groveling for money and trying to make me grovel –four times a day in some cases, raising the level of panic and fear with each mailing.  To wit:


Honestly it’s terrifying! (guess this one wasn’t that terrifying since it wasn’t all in caps).

Trump is surging in the polls. Democrats should PANIC.



NO RESPONSE RECEIVED (in flashing code)

And on and on and on and on.

Now what university did these folks go to, teaching them that Democrats and millennials only open their wallets or purses when they’re worried to death? Who told them to demand daily that we tell them our vote? Or want us to dip back into the same well?

I troll Republican PAC and presidential sites, too, and find similar somewhat lighter techniques whenever Trump goes down or up in the polls, which happens frequently. The body politic as well as these marketing geniuses are amazingly predictive.  Every twitch in the polls sends whatever side is affected into the Saint Vitus Dance. 

Poor Rachel Maddow, whose reputation as a liberal commentator is being used regularly to warn about "the future of our country” if Trump wins, which she meant as common sense but is now being used by to make folks dig in their  pockets faster or Rachel will spank. I’m sure she never expected to play Cassandra.

Poor Nate Silver, whose reputation as an infallible pollster was already diminishing, for those who closely follow such things.  But nevertheless, since he keeps giving Trump a chance, his name has become part of the hysteria campaign to raise money in one camp and pronounce elevation in the Trump camp by such surrogates as Kellyanne Conway, the blond motor-mouth who has now switched candidates to say nonstop glowing things about her new employer just as she once criticized him.

End result. The same media Trump incites violence against at every rally is embraced by him for every poll bump. In her rallies, Clinton placidly plows ahead trying to talk issues and ignore the hiccups – but not her supporters on the Internet! They sure haven’t got the message.

In some ways I sympathize. By sheer contrast in ability Hillary should be way ahead. And she needs big changes down the ballot to turn the Senate and make strong inroads into the House – because then Congress will stop sitting on its GOP hands and begin moving forward on something, anything.  (Republicans don’t like to hear that, but the gridlock is mainly theirs and it is sickening.) 

I do understand that there’s a massive concern for turnout lest the people wake up Nov. 9 and flagellate themselves for what they let happen. So Democrats and independents recognize that this is the time to get busy.

But not the time to panic or sell fear! Yet some pretty notable fund raisers are doing just that on the web.  Biggest offenders are the End Citizens United campaign, Democratic Governors Association (sorry, not worried about governors right now – catch me in 2018), the SenateMajority (a com named in anticipation) and, sadly, my old friends ActBlue

There is more sensibility from Hillary Clinton’s own website, which sticks with issues and just a hint of let’s get going alarm. But even there the temptation is to bash Trump first and get around to reasons later, which reflects the media headlines. Since never before have so many Republicans abandoned their standard bearer, that’s a reality that can’t be ignored if you’re appealing to unsettled voters.

Emily’s List is fairly factual, too, and gives accurate poll rundowns of how Democratic female candidates for Senate are doing in local polls, which saves me the trouble of daily checking as telemarketers do to decide which panic button to push.

I also respect the sober “counting toward goals” methods of the sites of Tammy Baldwin and Russ Feingold, plus the thank you tone of Marc Pocan.

The Republican sites, for individuals other than Trump, are interesting, because they don’t rise and fall with his enthusiasm and panic but with the panic and enthusiasm of their own local polling!

Take Kelly Ayotte, in a tough race in New Hampshire against strong Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan. She can’t endorse Trump while saying she will vote for him, a schizoid hair-splitting that is understandably hurting with voters.  So she has now called in her senate buddy from Iowa, Joni Ernst, to borrow her “Let’s Make Them Squeal” pig holler to raise cash.

Sure, I’m bothered that Hillary isn’t winning in a walk, according to the polls. But I guess I’m more a realist about this measure of judging voter interest months in advance.

I talk to Democrats all the time who expect Clinton on pure merit to wipe the floor with Trump at the debates and seal the thing. But that’s only if Joni Ernst’s pigs can fly.  

I think her fans are waiting for a “Big Eyes” moment of embarrassment for Trump. That (true story, not just a movie invention) was when a judge ordered a paint-off between Margaret Keane and the charlatan Walter Keane to prove she was the only real painter -- and he could only muster bluster and excuses. How great that sort of defining putdown would be!

But even with the capable Lester Holt as moderator Sept. 26, this will not be that clear an eye-opening opportunity to expose the mountebank bluster.  She is playing on Trump’s home turf – electronic media, which illuminates every boast and outrage into “strong leader” and reduces every detailed logical explanation into ho-hum.  She’s answering with her head to an audience susceptible to fear and heartstrings.

Plus the TV audience will be grading him on a curve. If you are a traditional Republican you’re desperate to snatch some reason to feel better about your own party. You might just buy his spiel as long as he’s still standing at the end.

The debates will not be as conclusive as the Clinton forces hope and on the Internet are dangerously selling as decisive.  I take the longer view, the Obama view I guess, of trusting the American voters to act in their own best interests and security of the country when the final bell rings. 

I do worry that poor attention, lack of education, political ignorance and celebrity fascination will take a toll, but I think the panic from the Democratic fund-raising machinery is more likely a goad for the opposition. “Look how scared of us they are, the wimps!”

I will give in time and money as I can, but my email box is being embarrassed by the raw desperation.  It’s supposed to be the Republicans who treat raising money as the deciding god.

About the author: Noth has been  a professional  journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as an editor for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He also created its Friday Weekend section and ran Sunday TV Screen magazine and Lively Arts as he became the newspaper’s senior feature editor. He was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and Internet and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for 

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