THE MAIL BOX — Here’s an interesting letter from Americans for a Better America. “As a leader in the community, your opinion is most valued in making policy for the AmerBetAmer. Please take a moment to fill out the enclosed survey which we shall use in our etc. etc.” Hey, that’s me, a leader in the community. OK, maybe in the neighborhood, or my block or my office, for sure.
No matter, Americans for a Better America need my advice. First question from this independent, non-partisan organization: “I believe President Obama (a) is our best president ever (b) is a genius (c) deserves a second Nobel Peace Prize.” Here’s another question: “Speaker John Boehner should be: (a) crucified (b) ostracized (c) cauterized.” I’m not real sure this is an independent, non-partisan group. On reading further, I am asked whether illegal immigrants should be given either a two- or four-year college scholarship, should brokerage houses be razed and salt sewn on their site and should all branches of the military be unionized.
As a leader of your community, you, no doubt get these questionnaires, too. Sometimes they are accompanied by a personal letter from either Presidents Bush, Obama, Clinton or Bush asking me by name – which is dropped into every other paragraph – to support their party and/or vote for their candidate. They always end with: “To further our goals and preserve America from the pagan opposition which seeks to strangle our children and jail our parents, please make a donation to Americans for a Free America” (or maybe People Who Love Their Country, Citizens Against Bad Things). This donation can be made with cash, check, credit card or beaver pelts. They usually ask for $50 and quickly move to $10,000 which makes me a Friend of Important People.
Here’s another letter. This is from Texans for a More Livable Earth. Must be one of those tree-hugger groups organized by flower children from the 60s. “Most people believe a little arsenic in our water doesn’t hurt. Do you agree or are you one of those leftist-pinkos who thinks we should go back to living in caves?” Strange. Next question: “How warmly would you welcome a job-creating toxic dump in your neighborhood school yard?” This must be a lobbying group which hides itself in a title that means exactly the opposite of its goals. Here’s a clue. In fine type it reads: “Paid for by Friends of SMOG.” They take credit cards made with non-recyclable plastic.
At least I’m not paying for it. My Congressman is constantly sending me news letters touting his success in stopping anything the opposition supports. There are photos of him wielding the gavel in the House, which appears to be empty, along with stories about how he saved civilization by voting to abolish child labor laws and the EPA but to increase Congressional pay raises. At the bottom, in fine print, usually in Norwegian, “Paid for by taxpayers. Speaking of which, my re-election fund could use some help. Please use the return envelope. Cash is preferable.”
Last week I got a letter from Karl Rove. Clever fellow. He, too, knows I’m a leader in this time zone. “Do Democrats deserve a warning shot?” “How much did you donate to the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Swift Boat Yacht Club? That’s not enough.” “Should Barack Hussein Obama be given political asylum or returned to Kenya?” “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would only donate to my PAC, Americans Who Believe in Karl Rove? Credit cards are accepted.”
The division between church and state is becoming blurred, which is why the Rev. Leviticus Deuteronomy, head of Americans Who Believe in Doing Good, sent me a solicitation “to throw out the Godless non-Christians who attempt to elect people with funny last names.” Tithing is accepted – and expected.
It’s gonna get worse. Be prepared for an onslaught of donation-seeking missives about the upcoming – like in more than a year – presidential elections. That contest, we will be assured, “is the most important election in American history,” which is self-important twaddle. The most important presidential election was in 1860, which resulted in the bloodiest war in our nation’s history. The 1932 election was important because it resulted in the end of Prohibition. In comparison, the 2012 contest won’t mean much. That won’t stop us from being hammered by letters seeking our advice, and, of course: “In order to continue our fight please donate etc. etc.”
Besides buttering us up as a world leaders, they play the guilt trip by sending us something we don’t want, didn’t ask for and would like to return but it’s too much trouble. Calendars, bumper stickers and, above all, return-address stickers. I’ve got a drawer full of them. Doctors Against Sickness sent me 8,000 stickers and a plea for “contributions to fight this terrible disease.” Is this lobbying group opposing Doctors For Sickness?
The Ralph Nader Kill the Fat Cats Committee asked: “Are thumb screws too gentle for Detroit’s big three or do you recommend water-boarding?” Recently I got a survey from the Mexican-American Immigration Forum. It was in Spanish.
But unlike these objective and neutral surveys, some questionnaires are so slanted and loaded as to make me wonder if the sender really expects an honest feel for the country. “As a leading candidate for sainthood, what is your main source of news? The liberal, anti-American mainstream media. The fair and balanced Fox News. Some guy who told you. Graffiti on the restroom walls. Sarah Palin’s autobiography. Your tax-supported den of liars in the White House. None of the above.” Another survey: “Do you generally identify yourself as a (a) money-grubbing, polluting, Wall Street sleazy, Nazi knuckle-dragger (b) Democrat?”
A final survey: “As a leader of the Western World, do you think these questions are slanted and loaded, or do you agree with us, Texans for a Greater Texas? Either way, please make a generous contribution to….”
Ashby is questionable at email@example.com