March 14, 2012 - Okay. So it's been what, three, four week's worth of Tuesdays since folks cast their votes in the Presidential Primary election? (Trust me, it has.) I don't know about you, but I am glad it's over.
I was getting pretty agitated by the amount of robo calls I was getting on my cell phone telling me to vote for this person or the next (usually by saying the other person sucked). I know robo calls must be effective and cheap to produce, but I hate them. And, by that fateful Tuesday in February I was yelling at the phone whenever I picked up another call. But, as the new and improved ZenDon I was quick to forgive when the polls closed. Peace, love, harmony. And, all was right with the world.
Until this past smackin' frackin' weekend.
My phone rang Saturday morning. I picked up the phone, looked to see if it was a local call. Yep, local area code. I answered the call, "Yelllllow."
"Hello," a prerecorded woman replied after a seconds delay. "The Presidential elect --" I hung up. Arrgg!
And, to no one and every one I screamed, "ROBO CALL! GRRRR!"
It is gonna' be a long election year.
New high blood pressure mediative techniques kept my head from exploding all over the kitchen, thusly relieving the Rush boys from having to clean said room. No, these days when I feel the robo call angst building up inside, I picture cute, cuddly mutt puppies of varying colors running on their short little legs, chasing butterflies, across a lush green lawn over the yellow daffodils. I then count backwards from 10 down to one and go to that "special" place in my mind where there are no phones, bureaucrats nor political party flunkies.
Calmly now, I can discuss -- without emotional turmoil -- robo calls. I have a few questions and points I would like to make on -- gulp -- robo calls.
1. How come I get robo calls on my cell phone when my number is on every "Do-Not-Call" list known to modern man? Is this an example of laws that are made for us mere mortals, but ignored, abused and in general not applied to government-types?
2. Who do I contact to make robo calls from those in government stop?
* * *
The only thing I know I can do is this . . .
Dear Governor Snyder,
Dear Oakland County Exec. LBrooks Patterson,
Dear State Representative Brad Jacobsen,
Dear State Representative Eileen Kowal,
Dear new State Representative Joe Graves,
Please be advised I do not want to receive phone calls from you or your staff or anybody politically connected to you (12 times out), if that person intends to sway my vote.
From this moment on I will vote for the person whose bootlickers robo call me the least. I may even vote to retain the person in the White House if your party continues to harass me via my cell phone.
Peace-out, and with all sincerity
* * *
I was at a Community Papers of Michigan Board of Directors meeting recently. The topic of political advertising came up and this comment was heard by yours truly. "While we were in Chicago talking to representatives of the Republican party, we learned the men and women in charge of advertising are all in their 20s. They don't read newspapers, so they don't advertise in newspapers."
No, these political yes-people pay for robo calls and smear campaigns for broadcast media.
This got me thinking. Who votes the most? What demographic takes the time to know who and why they are voting, and what demographic doesn't. By in large, those who read newspapers like this one, vote. Those who have no time to read newspapers also tend not to vote.
So, why do the political party minions spend all that money on broadcast campaigns and not where their message will hit their desired target?
It is interesting, too. These same party underlings tell the party faithfuls to "write letters to the editors" of their local in support of their candidate, but they won't pony up and buy ads.
These party toadies also call us when their candidate comes to town for photo opps. I think it would be way cool for all editors to not attend these political functions and, merely mention said candidate visited town with a line, buried deep inside our pages.
If anybody else feels like I do, let me know. Let's start a revolution to end robo calls! Please e-mail me, Don@ShermanPublications.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com