It was probably the Hillary Car Magnet email offer which finally got to me. Leaving out the fact that car dashboards today have very little metal, and what metal they do have does not respond to magnets, that offer was far from the first Hillary Clinton campaign Dialing for Dollars that day or that week or ever since she declared for the presidency. I had already been offered T-shirts with the campaign logo, bumper stickers, all sorts of other merchandise, even the chance for a Dinner with Hillary, if only I would send virtually-continuous donations to her campaign. This endless litany of gross and annoying fund raising has been the major hallmark of the 2015 Hillary Clinton for President campaign.
STOP THE DUNNING FOR DOLLARS, ALREADY! We all know that it takes endless amounts of funding to run a presidential campaign, thanks in part to the consummate idiocy of our Supreme Count allowing corporations and others to make virtually-unlimited political donations in the name of Free Speech. But, as a retired professional fund raiser, I have always found some methods to be dignified, others to be marginal or borderline, and some to be absolutely tacky. Most Hillary fund raising by email unfortunately falls into the tacky category.
There is far more at stake here than merely running an annoying campaign. As media guru Marshall Mcluhan said many decades ago, The Medium is the Message! The fund-raising medium says a great deal about the candidate. On the positive side, one can only commend Hillary for providing an opportunity for small givers to participate in her campaign.
Unlike the announced Republican presidential candidates who seem only to care about big donors and big donations, she is after the grassroots in the Democratic party. The flaw and the fault, however, is to insult those grassroots donors by such tried and trite techniques as offering car magnets and bumper stickers for donations. Surely, she can do better.
Every political campaign has a certain amount of energy to direct where it will do the most good. The Hillary Campaign energy would better be directed to, say, meaningful and well-researched position papers on such issues as the horrid TPP trade agreement, and gun control in the wake of the Charleston massacre. Instead, the public focus on the Campaign seems to be on frequent dunning of donors for dollars, on a daily basis or even more often. The signal sent by such silliness is that Hillary Clinton may not be the serious presidential candidate who deserves our backing. If we want a blatant self-promoter for president -- God Forbid -- we ought to consider Donald Trump. Judgment matters, Hillary.
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)