I still remember that Fall day in 1980 when I returned home from hearing Jane Fonda speak at my local community college. I announced proudly that I would support Jimmy Carter for his second term of office. My father’s near apoplectic response resounded throughout our suburban southern California sanctuary. His reference to a certain North Vietnamese capital (and Ms. Fonda’s betrayal there) should clear up any notion of the ironic fact we share nothing in common politically- except our name. It’s that irony, however, that has given me a window into my father’s political world in general, and into the machinations of Trump World and the increasingly desperate tone of its email fundraising efforts in particular…
You see, my father and I share both first and surnames, so to Trump’s campaign arm, we are synonymous. That means every request from the Trump crime syndicate lands in my mailbox with an almost clocklike regularity. It’s a veritable “Who’s Who” of the campaign making mind-numbingly regular outreach for more cash.
The first wave of flotsam that landed in my inbox in January of 2018 was more of a ripple; the Donald announced in the email entitled “About Tonight’s Speech” that for just one dollar, he would add my name to a live stream of that speech- a tempting offer. I didn’t hear anything again until February’s end, when his re-election announcement came-along with a request for another single dollar.
By the end of March, the email floodgates broke open to all manner of cash requests and Donald revealed bad news that I had been removed from the Sustaining Members List I had never joined. No matter, I received my first requests from Lara and Eric Trump the next day, and two more from the campaign right after, so I figured I was back in good graces.
In the two-plus years since, I have received over 300 emails wherein I have been tapped for cash by Donald, Lara, Don Jr., Eric Trump, now-fired campaign manager Brad Parscale, new campaign manager Bill Stepien, Trump Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guifoyle, Newt Gingerich, the “My Pillow” guy Mike Lindell- and Mike Pence.
Increasingly, the tone of the campaign is that of a fire sale, with everything being marked down; Trump merch, raffle chances to see Him, offers to join the Platinum Membership Club, signed MAGA hats, dollar matching, etc. The campaign never misses the opportunity to remind me of the deadlines for giving to which I’ve never responded- only to send me even more frequent and desperate screed in their attempts to grift my octogenarian father.
Since the arrival of Kamala Harris as the Democratic candidate for vice president, the campaign requests have taken a hypertensive shift yet again; I received 32 emails since her selection describing the candidate as “the worst”, “a nightmare”, “horrible”, and “a phony” just to name a few. Good news, though; the campaign is now offering a 600% match for any donations I send today.
In this fire sale, maybe it’s time to find a window out…