So, I don't normally talk about politics here, but something happaned last week that I have to talk about. While I was in Boston, a survey arrived. This survey was called the U.S. Senate Majority Leader's Survey 2004. It looked a heck of a lot like a typical IRS form. It had various official looking numbers like a registration number, a voting district code, even a section on top marked "NRSC Use Only."
Below my address, and in big bold letters was:
NOTICE: This SURVEY DOCUMENT IS REGISTERED IN YOUR NAME and must be accounted for upon completion of this project. If you choose not to participate in this crucial Republican Majority Leader's Survey, return this Survey Document at once using the postage paid envelope provided.
OFFICIAL REPUBLICAN PARTY DOCUMENT - DO NOT DESTROY
So, at this point, I'm pretty curious. As far as I know (unless Ashcroft got around to suspending the Constitution), the Republican National Party has no right to tell me what I can do with my mail. That being said.... the document is very convincing, and this will come into play a bit later.
So, the survey itself is what you would expect. A heavily biased set of questions favoring Bush. I kept expecting a "Should Kerry stop beating his wife" question. This in itself isn't a big huge deal. I'm sure Democratic groups put out biased mailings as well. That's kinda the point. But again, remember the dire warnings and official looking text that preceeded the questions.
At the end of the survey are three options:
- YES! I want to help defend our Republican Senate Majority and build a strong foundation of Republican grassroots support for President Bush's agenda. I am enclosing my most generous contribution of ....
- No. I do not wish to participate in this vital Republican Majority Leader's Survey. However, I am returning my Survey Document, along with a generous donation to help build Republican grassroots support for President Bush's agenda. I am enclosing a donation of:
- No. I do not wish to participate in the survey, nor do I wish to make a donation to help the Republican Party. I am returning my Survey Document, along with a contribution of $11 to help cover the cost of tabulating and redistributing my Survey.
Now obvious, the red text was my choice, and is the option I want to focus on. The document, which looks like any other typical government form, made it very clear that you were not to destroy it. Now, at the end, you can't return without sending this group eleven dollars.
In general, I tend to think people have a certain responsibility to have a basic, minimum level of intelligence. Therefore, what this group is doing is (afaik) technically legal. However, it is slimy. Damn slimy. How many people will get tricked into thinking they have to donate eleven dollars to this group? How many people who really can't afford to donate money? The more I think about this group, the angrier I get. Maybe I'm totally missing the point here, but this just seems like pure evil.
Oh, and they have a web site: http://www.nrsc.org. Perhaps folks could contact them and let them know what you think of this "survey."