Why I’ll never donate a cent to a political candidate ever again
We as Americans hate our representatives in Congress, which is kind of odd since we elect them. Never in the history of our country has there been more information about the candidates, their positions and what impact their positions may have on you as a potential voter than there is today.
Yet, the overwhelming majority of American voters identify themselves with a party and rarely break from it, even if they are hurting their own cause by doing so.
Survey after survey shows this. There are six polls which regular query voters about their feelings about Congress: Economist/YouGov; Reuters/Ipsos; CNN; Gallup; Quinnipiac; and NBC/Wall Street Journal.
By overwhelming margins, Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The most recent numbers in the Economist/YouGov poll have 15 percent approval and 67 percent disapproval. It is similar with the rest. The average of the six polls is an 18.8 percent approval rate and a 73.0 percent disapproval rating.
I suspect similar numbers would be found if polls about Governors and state legislatures and the like.
I thought of this last year as candidates began to announce they’d run to succeed outgoing Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is barred by term limits for running again. Though I’m a Democrat and Sandoval is Republican, I had no major complaints with the job he did. He has been a competent professional.
As I looked at the candidates running to succeed him, I was immediately impressed with one more than the others, Democrat Chris Giunchigliani. She is a member of the Clark County Commission, and I liked her way of doing business. I liked what I heard of her vision for our state, and how she planned to push it forward.
As a result, I made a monthly $100 donation to her campaign. I could afford it and I felt she was the best of the candidates who was running, and I wanted to do my part to help her.
I’ve come to regret that deeply, and not because Giunchigliani was thrashed in the primary by Steve Sisolak, also a member of the Clark County Commission. Sisolak got 50.03 percent of the vote to 38.86 for Giunchigliani.
Just by getting involved in the political process a tiny little bit, by making a small donation, I’ve been inundated with calls, emails, snail mail and visitors to my front door.
I work at home and during the day, when the majority of these calls come in, I’m busy. The calls come to both my landline and my mobile phone, and the timing of them is so often so poor it’s not even funny.
I plan to vote for Sisolak, but I have no great affinity for him. But I’m bombarded every day with pleas for money and requests to volunteer. I decline each time, but it doesn’t stop the calls from coming.
I was working today and on an important phone call on my mobile, when my landline rang. The person I was speaking to told me to answer it and we’d speak again later. I answered the call only to find out it was from the Sisolak campaign asking me to attend a fund-raiser.
I understand how important it is to get out the vote, and I get how important fund-raising is to a successful campaign.
But there has to be a better way than to harangue potential voters. I’m already sick as can be of “Anna from Card Services,” who a year or so was “Rachel from Card Services” and who calls repeatedly. They’re a scam and you should just hang up without speaking if they call. But they call repeatedly. I have a few other similar scams, but adding in the political calls just makes it intolerable to answer the phone.
As ordinary citizens, we have next-to-no input in the process, though the candidates are all too eager to ask for your time and/or money. But unless you’re a mega-donor, you have no chance of having your voice heard.
I’m extraordinarily jaded with our political process and I hate the tribalism that so pervades our politics.
I know this: In the next election cycle, I’m not donating any money. I’m unsubscribing whenever I receive an email from a candidate. I’m hanging up the minute I answer the phone and hear it’s a political call. I’m immediately dumping all political flyers I get in the mail in the trash without reading them.
I’d hoped that my small contribution would held our state elect a woman I thought would be an outstanding governor.
Instead, it’s turned into a daily harangue for money and pleas for help.
I’m done with it for good.