Junk Mail

Between hectic preparations for Rosh Hashana, celebrating the holiday itself, and catching up with the day after, I neglected to check my email junk box for four days. Among the 200 or so messages that had accumulated, numerous hot Ukrainian women vied for my attention along with many urgent notices from Costco about rewards that I had won. Since the occasional email that I wanted to see was tucked in among these scams, I quickly flicked my eye past each subject heading.

It seems that I have been marking quite a few political emails as junk and eventually my computer got the message. My junk folder was full of them. I have nothing personal against Kevin McCarthy or the many candidates who beseech my support, but except for the rare outlier in the batch to whose campaign I am willing to contribute, those emails are too little, too predictable, and too late.

While political appeals now come electronically, they used to come as snail mail. Most ended up in the garbage, but sometimes one irritated me so much that I replied—not with the donation the candidate or the Republican Party was hoping for, but with words. While I knew that there was a 99.99% chance that no one would read my response, my conscience prodded me to at least make an attempt to explain why I was not going to donate and, often, why I was not going to vote for the candidate being promoted. Even though his competitor in the general election would be a terrible choice, I was going to “throw away my vote” by marking my ballot for a third-party candidate. Both my words and my vote were in the hope that if enough citizens responded in the same way, someone in leadership might pay attention. It was a futile endeavor whose natural end, I believe, lay in the election of Donald Trump. I and my fellow fed-up voters finally expressed our disgust with the actions of the official Republican Party in a way that could not be ignored. Nonetheless, they seem to have learned very little from that experience, hence my overflowing email junk folder.

When someone has repeatedly broken his promises to you, whether by deliberate design or through cowardice or laziness, at a certain point, he needs to stop making promises. If there is a valid reason for the lack of follow-through, the respectful and pragmatic thing to do is to explain what happened. The solicitations I’m receiving generally follow a trope.

  1. Things are terrible.
  2. This is an urgent crisis.
  3. Send me money and I will solve the problem.

What is missing is an acknowledgment of missed past opportunities, current silence about lightning-rod issues including the politically motivated treatment of the J6 detainees, and an explanation of why the individual/party should be trusted when they have failed so miserably in the past. I know things are terrible and that we are in an urgent crisis. I place a great deal of the blame on Republican legislators.

If the candidate is new, I would like to see some history showing where he or she has stayed firm in the face of immense pressure from both friends and foes as well as an explanation of why they can be trusted not to become a squishy wimp or a flaming disaster once in office. How has the candidate revealed his or her core principles and street smarts in the past? Here is a tip: Using the same email heading as 95% of the other candidates doesn’t show you to your best advantage.

The prayers of Rosh Hashana proclaim that right now the fate for the coming year of both individuals and countries is being decided on High. “Which for peace and which for war, which for famine and which for plenty.” While the ultimate path of America and all nations is in God’s Hands, He does respond to our behavior and repentance. That places the onus squarely on us. For now, I support individuals and organizations that have proven that they walk their talk. Most political entreaties sound as sincere and honest as those asking me to confirm a purchase that I never made.

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