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Political Torment

Nothing is more annoying when you arrive home after a day of work to phone calls, one after another, asking for your support for their political candidate. 

You have no time to change out of your work clothes and there, the sound, don’t they get sneaky, calls come from every state of the union, so people become aware of it, let that phone ring – if it were important they certainly would leave a message.  Not one political call ever leaves a message unless it is for a local candidate.  So you prepare dinner and more calls – it reminds me of the commercials blaring from the television while you are eating – trying to tell you what drugs are the best followed by the longest list of side effects to save their skin.

In a few weeks, following Labor Day, you will be hearing less about the drugs during dinner and more information on the Presidential Candidates.  Now mind you, they will not be pleasant since pleasantries are no longer part of our political nature.  Not only are we annoyed by their constant calling, constant bickering, but each candidate has to make themselves sound right while their opponent is always wrong.  Be prepared for the onslaught of commercials during prime time.

For those of you who are interested in the political fighting all you have to do is turn on the television to the talk shows, and everyone knows what station favors who, it isn’t a secret, but I won’t write about it.  On these talk shows you will here the riddled talk and justifications for their candidate, opposed with neurotic behavior.  Some how hosts believe by paralyzing you with terror – according to what if – will change your mind.  Even I feel some sympathy for the outcast from either party, they are being pulled threw the mud.   

From the telephone to television and on to a so-called expert who is predicting your future as an American.  They ask you, “Can I have a few minutes to talk if you want to take a moment and answer a few questions, and if you do, you will be given a free cruise to some island – not part of the United States.  People listen at times to the free cruise but hang up when they mention politics. This is a Presidential Election and they are giving away cruises if you participate in a survey?  I believe this is the first time the parties have used this tactic.

Most giveaways have something hidden and left until the end of the speech.  Most listeners place their phones on speaker and continue working.  This tactic is used when someone calls to give away a trip, if – you donate.  The same thing occurred when people were given low interest credit cards, only to find three months later they were paying twenty eight percent. Open a credit card and we will send you to Vegas. Fees  began to mount as you used the card; what about the one dollar guarantee if you become ill or disabled, all the interest would not be attached to the loan, and the loan would be paid back when you returned to work, this failed too.  They forgot to tell you what would be written in fine print by telephone.  I recall Senator Clinton placing a cap on the interest a bank can charge on a credit card.  So how is this similar to the political nagging – they tell you how important it is for you to get involved, to support their candidate and after ten minutes the questions is, “Can you afford one hundred dollars today?”

Have you ever received a nagging phone call from the State Police, when they ask the same question as noted above?  Now here you are holding onto the phone and wondering if this is really the organization who supports those State Police injured or killed on their job?  Then you think of driving your car and they are certain to know to know your license – talk about pressuring the public.

So last night after work the phone rings – your family gives you the eye – which means don’t answer it.  Having a print out on your receiver of who is calling is more important these days, even when you tell your phone service to block calls from advertisers but most of the calls are not considered advertising when you are asking for support.  They must have a list, well, I know they have a list of people – phone numbers – and toll free calling paid for by those who have contributed.  Some headquarters in some states pass the list to the next person, marked unanswered, and they start calling you back, if you don’t answer it the second time it’s placed in a pile for another call back in one hour.  No kidding, there is no way out of it, your phone will ring if you are a registered voter.

The key to the campaign are those willing to sit most of the day at a long table with many other people reading from a prepared statement, over, and over through their scheduled time.  The rules, phones one at nine am and off by nine pm.  When you reach the voter a key word is written next to their name; unanswered (NA), hang-up (HU), not interested(x), not voting, don’t call again ( cross out).  These are the negative responses noted next to the voter’s name. 

The only way you can get rid of the nagging calls is to finally answer one, and in a stern voice demand your name is taken off their list.  This might have you taken off the list although during a Presidential race calls happen for many states.  Hey, you may have a friend calling you from Ohio, or South Carolina, so you answer the call – the normal person hears the first sentence and hangs up after asking nicely to stop the calls. 

One way to surprise the person who continues to call – actually begin a conversation about your concerns.  Those who work the phone banks, are not allowed to answer for the candidate, and you may be lucky enough to have a line drawn through your name.

I believe there is a time and place for politics and dinnertime is not one of them. Those pestering calls are as bad as the night you splurge on a good piece of meat, mashed potatoes covered in butter, and corn on the cob,
butter falling from your fingers and salt coating your lips. You relaxed, waiting for the news to return after fifteen different commercials.  Have you ever noticed commercials are louder than the program?  Advertisers need to grab your attention and normally can when you are in no shape to be talking you’re your mouth full.  Usually it is when you are downing that steak, or dipping your steamed fish into a cup of butter when a doctor is telling you about high cholesterol and those things to avoid.  If noise is what you want when you are having dinner, you might be more comfortable going to your local eatery or inviting friends over – especially the closer we get to election day.

Last month it was dinner with the stars, before that dinner with the President, and I just received another message they asked if I wanted to shoot hoops.  

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