ARCHIVES: Whom I’m NOT voting for

This pre-Franorama World post is from my MySpace blog Oct. 31, 2008, 2:58 a.m. PST:

(Disclaimer: My opinions are mine alone and not any reflection of any friends, relatives, enemies or employers past or present, except by sheer coincidence.)

Well, right off, this is not a partisan message. If you know me, you know I hate both parties equally — the Republicans for a million things they’ve done in my lifetime, the Democrats for standing by and doing nothing for most of that time, especially when they’ve had the power to do so. (Also because I’ve seen up-close what a one-party system can do and not do — in New Haven, the Democrats outnumber the Republicans about 13-1 and a Democratic machine has run the city for 56 years. Talk about a major poli sci case study …)

Enough with that rant. On to the real rant. Here’s whom I’m not voting for:

Any asshole who robocalls me.
There’s a reason I’m a subscriber to the federal Do Not Call List — because I don’t want strangers bothering me in my own house. I want to be assured, save for an occasional wrong number, that when I pick up a ringing phone — especially when I’m in the shower or in bed or in the bathroom — it’s a friend or relative calling me and not some fool trying to sell me his/her line of shit. (And I’m pretty quick to answer the phone, whether half-awake or dripping naked, since most of the people in my life live on the other side of the country. So you can imagine how pissed I get when it’s some sales pitch.) Of course, when the politicians passed the do-not-call law, they made themselves exempt.

And they’ve continued to call. But not personally. Over the past couple years, they’ve done something even more odious: They’ve resorted to the robocall. Sometimes constantly.

I’ll make this simple: When someone calls me to sell me something — and that’s what a politician is doing, no matter what they’d call it — he/she is standing in my kitchen, or my computer room, or wherever, just as readily as if he/she barged through my living-room door. And robocalling is even worse because said politician doesn’t have the decency to respect my privacy — and, even worse, much less decency for not invading my privacy in person. None of us on the receiving end have the luxury of telling them to stop bothering us — no chance to respond, no recourse except to take it and hang up.

I’m not letting anyone I don’t know in my door, except for a repairman. If you’re a politician and I’m home and you ring the bell and talk to me face to face on the doorstep, maybe I’ll politely listen and engage in some conversation and discourse, and that’s fine. But I don’t want you in my house. And by robocalling, all you’ve done is show me you have the hubris to just barge in on me at any time — and not let me get in a word edgewise. In my own house.

Politicians have a plethora of venues by which to make their points: TV spots, radio spots, newspapers, fliers and Web sites, whether their own or someone else’s. I can read/see/hear their positions any time I want. They do not need to bother me at home — and moreso, they don’t need to bother me and not have the courage to do it themselves.

Tonight, I got about my 10th robocall this campaign from one of the two mayoral candidates in my city. (The other candidate, whom I’m also not voting for at this point because of a fundamental philosophical difference, as least is decent enough not to have resorted to robocalling.) This time I listened for a little longer than usual out of curiosity. It was an offer by the mechanically reproduced voice of this candidate to join in a live open forum on the phone. And just as I was about to hang up, I heard a disclaimer: “Please be aware that the phone company can keep your line open for up to 32 seconds after you hang up.”

Sure enough, that’s what happened. Fucking great — not only does this politician barge in, but also ties up my phone line. As if this politician hasn’t done enough to get on my good side already …

The fact that this candidate — and every other candidate who’s assaulted me with these automated calls since I’ve moved to California — is Republican is irrelevant. If you’re a decent politician, regardless of party, I might vote for you. But if you walk into my house unannounced and uninvited, then you’ve wasted not only my time, but your money.

Simple: You want me to think about voting for you, then stay the hell out of my kitchen — both you and your mechanical doppelganger.

And if you promise to pass a law adding politicians and robocalls to the do not call list — well, unless you’re Satan himself, you’ll get my vote.

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