May 15, 2009

Or, the Story Behind My Historic Battle Against Racial Hatred and Intolerance.

One trick in the direct mail business is to give people a reason to send back the reply envelope for reasons other than the check.  Everyone does it.  Usually it’s something like a signed membership card for the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”  My employer Team America PAC tries to make these gimmicks actually usually, often sending open letters for our supporters to sign that we will deliver to Congress.

Yesterday, I got perhaps the most interesting response device from “€œAdoptaplatoon“€ one of the many organizations that purport to help our troops overseas and their families. Unlike most letters, it was a bit bulky, and inside I found a toothbrush. Presumably there is a shortage of toothbrushes for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, so the idea is that they send me a toothbrush. I can put my name on it so the troops know it came from me, and then I send it back to Adoptaplatoon who sends it to our troops in Afghanistan.   Makes sense to me! 

From Taki

In a height of my anti-Obama frenzy last spring, I decided to give five dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Now I get bombarded with appeals from left-wing groups.  My favorite letter came from the Southern Poverty Law Center.  In addition to a letter written by Toni Morrison urging me to donate, and a special sticker with a laser printed signature by Morris Dees to put inside my gift of his autobiography, A lawyers Tale, which I”€™ll get if I contribute over $100, I also received a certificate of appreciation for my “€œimportant contribution in the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America“€ signed by Morris Dees.  It’s currently framed in my office. 

From Taki

A lot of conservatives go after the SPLC because of the high percentage of money they spend on fundraising. Personally I”€™d rather them waste it on overhead than on ruining my career. Rest assured: I returned the business reply envelope with nothing inside”€”taking $1.14 away from The Man. I do this to every left wing group that sends me a solicitation. While I was berated by my friends for contributing to Hilary Clinton, I think my $5 contribution has probably cost the Left at least $25! Every little bit counts.

When the RNC ask me for any money, I make sure to use my own stamp and send a note saying not to secure our borders. If enough people do this, it’s bound to have an effect. The party has a long tradition of betraying its base, so claiming that we”€™re all open-borders might be the best strategy for making the GOP get tough on immigration. 

When I first took my job, I would often get elderly women calling up saying that they would try to send 10 or 20 dollars after they got their next social security check came in. I was tempted to tell them to save their money. Now, I want to ask them what their social security number is.

While there is no shortage of direct-mail scam artists in the conservative movement, this tried-and true method is still necessary for a lot of good organizations. (And for the record, I looked up Adoptaplatoon, and it appears to be a legitimate organization doing some good work). It’s easy for us to bemoan direct mail, but the sad truth is that for obvious reasons, you aren”€™t going to get much money from the big conservative foundations or the millionaire donors by opposing immigration”€”you have to go to the people. 

Many think the Internet will make direct mail obsolete. Ron Paul certainly used it effectively, and organizations whose focus is Internet based, like NumbersUSA or, can use the Internet for most of their fundraising. But with many donors to conservative causes in their twilight years, direct mail is a necessary evil for the years to come.

The real Right is grossly outspent by the Left, and the neocons have weaseled their way into the big foundations. Taki readers might want to open up their wallets once in a while”€”and even surrender to those direct-mail gimmicks sometimes. But I strongly urge them do their homework before they give (in). 


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