I received a phone call from the Bob Barr campaign today. And I was ready for the hard sell. Whenever any organization calls you, they want money, and they're trained to go for it. Until the second you hang up on them, they are going to keep hounding you. Probably politely, but still hounding.
I remember right after Hurricane Katrina. I had lost my job, was homeless, and believed that I had lost every possession that I'd ever owned. I got a phone call from a local fire department raising money for widows (a noble cause, no doubt). I explained that I'd lost everything, and had no job. So they assured me I could still afford at least a 25$ donation.
I was raised to not be rude, but there is no helping it with phone solicitors. In fact, that's why I don't have a landline. I was ready to get rid of it years ago, until they came up with the "no-call" list. "A-ha!" I said to myself. (I said it quietly) "This should solve that problem!"
And it did for awhile. But they exempted charities, for some unknown reason. And apparently polling firms, too. So when it got to the point where I was receiving 5 to 7 phone calls a day from charities and ridiculously biased polls, I had my phone line taken out. Problem solved.
Then I joined the NRA. I donated a couple of times, small amounts. I'm not rich. I gave them my cell number, cause the online form wouldn't proceed without it. I got one phone call from them asking for money. Before the poor girl could get very far into her sales pitch, I explained that I did not like phone calls, I contribute as much as I can whenever I feel like it, and that the next phone call I got from them would result in my dropping my membership and never contributing another penny. I never got another call from them. I'm still a member.
Anyway, so I got this phone call today from the Bob Barr campaign. Yes, they wanted to know if I could donate. I explained that I already had donated what I could. If my financial situation changed, I'd donate more. That was the end of the money spiel. She asked whether I'd visited the website (obviously, I have). We talked about the campaign, the progress it had made, and different libertarian beliefs. Then she bid me goodbye, and I wished her the best of luck in raising more money. Perhaps a three to five minute call, with no pressure at any time.
What a pleasant conversation. It really made me want to donate more. Here are people who understand that I'm not a sheep in need of herding. I'm not a child in need of discipline.
In the short run, this may be one reason why they're not competing financially with the Obama/McCain fundraising juggernauts. But in the long run? I'm seeing more and more viability.
The Libertarian Party is getting its shit together, after 30-odd years of fringe politics and a reputation for lunacy. Damn, but doesn't that make this a good day?
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