There is always something in my mail box. It’s usually (a) a bargain I simply can’t pass up — or easily can; (b) a plea from some worthy cause I can’t ignore — or can; or, at this point in time (c) some missive from the fund-raising arm of somaeone’s political campaign. Today I received my letter from Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Even the envelope exudes a “Scary Voice” message from the dark Beyond.
Where the return address would normally appear there’s a 1.5 x 1.5 inch photo of a scowling Donald Trump. Now, there’s a happy invitation to the contents? Next to the little photograph, a quote, “A vote for her is a vote for increased taxes. Weak borders. It really is a vote for crime.” But wait, there’s more! Underneath the stamps there’s a 1.5 x 2.25 inch unflattering photo of his Democratic Party opponent, Jacky Rosen, with a red arrow pointing to a script font “Let’s vote NO on Jacky!” All this and I haven’t even opened the envelope yet.
What am I thinking before I even open the envelope? First is the obvious: Heller is directly associating himself with Donald J. Trump. That would be the self-same Donald J. Trump who still hasn’t prioritized reuniting some 547 children with their parents — at least that was the last number I recall hearing from my TV set. That would be the same Donald J. Trump who crowed that Hurricane Maria was dealt with competently, definitely not a killer storm like Katrina (1,833 dead; it’s just that we now know Maria’s death toll was 2,975. That would be the same Donald J. Trump who tweeted out in the wee hours of the morning that the “Chinese” were responsible for hacking Democratic Party/Hillary Clinton emails, in the face of all evidence from the CIA, the FBI, the entire Intelligence Community, our major allies, and most sentient people, to the contrary, who see the hand of the Russians in the interference and attacks on our election system in 2016. And THIS is what Senator Heller wants to emphasize instead of the usual return address on the fund raising material envelope? All this before the letter knife meets the upper right hand corner of the envelope. I haven’t even gotten to the quotation.
“A vote for her is a vote for increased taxes.” Please, this generality about Democratic Party platform contents is so stale if it were bread it would crumble to 40 year old starchy dust. However, it does serve to remind me that the top 1% of American income earners got 83% of the benefits of the last tax cut, and Trump wants to do even more more them. Further, Trump is mulling further unilateral tax cuts, for the rich of course, and these will add to the deficit. And, now I am easing the paper knife into the upper right hand corner to get to the real contents…
The letter folds out “From the desk of Senator Dean Heller, (in a nice wedding invitation gothic font) Republican | Nevada. ” Dear Desk: You could have saved yourself some effort, after my experience with the envelope I’m probably not going to be amenable to your contents.
I’m really not especially pleased at being addressed as “Dear Patriot.” I’m as patriotic as the next person. However, I don’t have a flag pole in my yard. But, if I did I would have lowered my flag out of respect for the late Senator John McCain and I would have kept it at half staff until the man’s burial. I don’t put up bunting on the 4th of July, but I will defend the right of anyone in the neighborhood to fly his or her flag as he or she pleases, put as much or as little bunting and July 4th decorations up as desired, and be grateful if they warn me ahead of time they’ll be setting off firecrackers which frighten my dog. I’ll also not confuse a respectful demonstration of protest against unauthorized and excessive use of force against POC with a lack of patriotism. By my lights a Patriot is a person who will adhere to the spirit of the quotation mis-attributed to Voltaire: “I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It.”
Okay, here we go, “Rep. Jacky Rosen is a tax-hike loving liberal Democrat who would be a total disaster for our country in the U.S. Senate!!!” Can Trump make a declarative sentence without a surfeit of exclamation points? Then, presumably Senator Heller adds his two cents: “Not only that, she’s an open borders activist to boot.” Oh, do you mean she’s truly interested in what’s going on at our southern border? Do you mean she’s not all that thrilled with a policy of family separations undertaken by an administration which was surprised that anyone would actually CARE about the children of asylum seeking parents? Then comes a hodge-podge of word salad with all the appropriate buzzing sounds.
There’s “opposed every common sense measure to secure the border,” as if the only thing that makes sense is Zero Tolerance, Big Beautiful Walls the Mexicans aren’t about to pay for, and leaving no path to citizenship for some people whose dedication and talents we could certainly use in this country. She “criticized the Supreme Court decision” on free speech and the rule of law — this is rich, considering the nature of that case in which intolerance was to be tolerated. And, Oh My Heavens she’s going to “torpedo” Trump’s not all that well vetted nominee to the US Supreme Court, the man about whom the public record is incomplete and won’t be complete if Republicans like Heller have anything to say about it. Worse still, clutch those pearls now — she has the support of that Republican bete noir Chuck Schumer… who is (heaven forefend) a “national liberal Democrat.” Oh leave me shaking, as the resonance of the Scary Voice Narrator wafts into my senses.
The next 2 and 1/3rd pages are replete with buzzing… 2nd Amendment, liberal Democrats, liberal special interests, avid hunter, concealed carry permit holders, dyed in the wool Nancy Pelosi liberal, rubber stamp vote for San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi, burgeoning left wing, failing health care system, block… US Supreme Court picks, inexperienced far left Democrat, rubber stamp vote for Chuck Schumer, … and so on. This really isn’t going to get me to pull out the check book for a suggested minimum donation of $35.00. For that matter, it isn’t going to get 35 cents.
It won’t get 3.5 cents for that matter, not even as the Senator tells me he’s a victim of “scorched earth” attacks from Harry Reid… Harry Reid? However, I can see some trends in the fund raising letter. Heller is playing guilt by association — tar his opponent with negative images and references rather than take on the issues of the day. He’ll play the Fear Card — beware those Black, Brown, and Brownish people. He’ll play the Ultra Whitey Card — “Dear Patriot.” What he doesn’t seem to want to do in this fund raising letter is tell me what he’s advocating.
I have the message from Rosen. It’s clear to me she’s in favor of a woman’s right to make her own medical choices, she’s in favor of tax cuts for middle income Americans — not more largess for the top 1%, she’s in favor of funding veterans’ health care, education, and in favor of freedom of speech in all its forms not just the preservation of white privilege and religious intolerance. I can spend some coin of the realm supporting these views. Sorry Senator Heller, but I’d rather vote my hopes than my fears.