Just bitchin'

Phone Politics


It’s started.

And I’m already fed up with it.

The avalanche of political campaigning for upcoming elections is ramping up, reminding me of the retail industry’s increasingly early debut of Christmas advertising. By the time the vaunted day comes around, you’re sick of it. Excitement and anticipation have been stretched to a thin, attenuated ghost of what they might have been had the lead-in been shorter.

With Christmas, it’s usually the television ads that grate on me, but with politics you can take your choice of annoying methods intended to usher you into a candidate’s stable and force feed you their particular diet of rhetorical promises.

Your mailbox is crammed with literature. You have to wonder how much was spent to produce the reams of glossy, slick pamphlets. You have no desire to read the swelling tide of circulars. When you do, you don’t believe most of them. Or worse, they communicate nothing. They skirt the edges of making definitive statements; each line a masterpiece of crafted ambiguity.

Then there are the campaigners who loiter about in malls and parking lots. They accost you with bright, desperate smiles, hoping to persuade you that theirs is the only possible candidate-of-choice come Election Day. They want to waylay you…engage you in clumsy conversation…become your instant friend.

But worst of all are the phone calls.

The recorded messages in voices that aren’t used to public speaking. They push forward, determined to get through their script, conveying vicarious discomfort rather than cogent, informative facts.

Worse, the live caller…which is what birthed this rant of mine. Some volunteer doing the commendable job of supporting her choice for the 2016 presidential elections. But, oh…so naïve to think that it’s a good idea to phone a stranger’s home late Friday night to chirp about how women simply have to be in ‘Hilary’s camp’; that harboring ovaries in your abdomen must make you an instant supporter of a female candidate.

All she accomplished was to spur me on to do something I’ve thought about for a long time.

I started a phone log.

I will write down the names or issues pushed by every unwelcome, political intrusion into my home after hours. The one with the least strikes will probably get my vote come Election Day. Either that, or the one who slings the least mud.

I haven’t decided which.

But I’m not worried.

As with Christmas advertising that begins in September…I’ve got lots and lots of time to contemplate that, for me, voting has become an exercise in electing the least objectionable, rather than the most worthy.…