So I received the following letter from the Libertarian National Committee. (And, yes, it was indeed written in all caps, much like the writing of an indignant twelve-year-old on the internet for the first time.)
UNLESS OUR LETTERS HAVE CROSSED IN THE MAIL, OR THERE IS AN ERROR IN THE REPORT I’VE JUST RECEIVED, I WAS DISAPPOINTED TO LEARN THIS MORNING THAT YOU HAVE YET TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY FOR 2007.
THIS PAST MONTH, I SENT YOU AND OTHER LP SUPPORTERS OUR 2006 ANNUAL REPORT ALONG WITH A PRESIDENTIAL SURVEY.
DID YOU PERHAPS NOT RECEIVE IT? ALONG WITH THE REPORT, IN THE INTEREST OF KEEPING EXPENSES DOWN, I INCLUDED AN APPEAL FOR YOU TO RENEW YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR 2007.
EVERY SINGLE MEMBER AND SUPPORTER OF THE LP IS VITAL TO OUR OPERATIONS AND I WAS COUNTING ON HEARING FROM YOU BY NOW WITH YOUR GIFT.
PHILLIP, I HOPE IT IS JUST AN OVERSIGHT THAT YOU HAVE NOT RENEWED YOUR SUPPORT FOR 2007. I UNDERSTAND HOW THAT CAN HAPPEN. BUT PLEASE KNOW THAT WE NEED YOU ON OUR TEAM IF WE ARE TO REMAIN EFFECTIVE.
YOUR GIFT RIGHT NOW IN THE AMOUNT OF $10, OR EVEN MORE IF YOU CAN, WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR OUR NATION, YOUR STATE, AND YOUR COMMUNITY.
‘Kay. I’m gonna take a deep breath and not respond to this one just yet, and bring up another point by way of contrast.
At the last state convention, Bob Smith took the podium and made a very simple, direct, and somewhat moving plea for support. There was no bullying, no coercion: nothing more than a laying out of the facts and the consequences, and a respectful request for any aid that could be given.
Let’s compare this to the condescending “I’m not angry, just disappointed” tone being presented at the national level, shall we? This call to give them money for the sake of our glorious nation? This evocation to be “part of the team?” I’ve got news for you, mate: I’m not part of anybody’s team, leastways not the smegging shitwank who composed this letter. I’m happy to register with you guys, so you have one more head to count when you’re tallying up the numbers. And I’ll continue voting for your candidates for as long as they’re supporting principles that make sense to me. But I don’t owe you jack-shit. And nobody should talk about concepts like “loyalty to the Party” with a straight face outside of Communist Russia.
I grow especially impatient when alternative parties begin employing this sort of tone. I mean, the two-party duopoly? They have to be patronizing jerkwads. Their elections hinge on it. We, however, have the freedom to talk to adults like adults.
One thing I feel that I’ve learned in show business is that the idea of “selling out” is really kind of an illusion — you can’t achieve success by pretending to be something that you’re not. So why do the other parties feel that they have to legitimize themselves by adopting the demeanor of the ones that everybody else is voting for?