Like everyone else, I get my political news by scanning the subject lines of unread emails in my inbox. Somehow, I've landed on every Democratic Party sucker list there is, so my news tends to skew left and tilt heavily towards the melodramatic. But recently I’ve been bombarded by so many Democratic emails that I’ve stopped reading the subject lines altogether.
Each day I devote tens of seconds to ignoring emails from Charlie Crist, and scrolling blindly through a ponderous pile of gentle pleas and plaintive wails from folks like Kay Hagan, Preston Elliott, Debbie Wasserman, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden. I’m not even sure all those are real people, but they all call me “friend" with the same casual familiarity used by my Nigerian pen pal Prince Isa Ahmed, brother of late Gen. Sanni Abacha and second cousin to Mutassim Billah, whose family's money is stuck in a frozen bank account in Sierra Leone.
Barack Obama wants to be my friend too. I have 17 unread emails from the President of the United States, including one with the rather embarrassing subject line “I need you.” (Please, Mr. President, I’m a married man! And so are you! Come to think of it, your wife has been emailing me too.)
The mountain of missives has put a strain on my good standing with Google. Last week the company suspended my gmail account for polluting their cloud with 14,741 unread emails. Charlie Crist alone is about 8 percent to blame for my e-predicament. Alas and Alack, I’m too politically disengaged to even bother deleting all their messages.
I wasn’t always like this. When I was younger, I was an ideological firebrand full of big ideas and an appetite for change. I voted for write-in candidate David McReynolds in the 2000 presidential elections (he didn’t win), then softened my views enough to vote for John Kerry in 2004 (he didn’t win either). I finally picked a winner with Obama ‘08, and then figured, eh, whatever, and voted for him again in 2012.
Now, judging by the quickly growing stack of unread emails littering my inbox, we must be nearing another election. And, based on my final perfunctory scan of subject lines last month, I have to admit I’m a little concerned for the emotional well-being of the party that gave us such mediocre leaders as Martin Van Buren and James Polk.
The period of Aug. 28 -31 was particularly noisy. Within 72 hours, I got a barrage of emails with the following histrionic subject lines —Nothing left to say (this turned out to be false); End of our Rope; Disappointed; ACCEPT DEFEAT; Listen, I’m pleading (so I noticed); All Hope is Lost; We’ve got nothing left; Listen, I’m begging; we BEGGED you; We keep emailing; everything just failed; we will fail; we’ve NEVER failed like this; then M I R A C LE (!!!); PUMMELED; A S T R O N O M I C A L.
By the end, I didn't know if it was good news or bad news. But it was upsetting either way. If I got such emotionally unglued emails like that from a friend, I would assume he had gone off his medication and would quietly start contacting family members to plan an intervention.
Luckily, this is no one I care about too much, even though they keep calling me "friend." I don't want you to think I'm a heartless jerk. I mean, I guess I still care enough about the Democrats to not bother unsubscribing to their email lists. And that's more than I can say about the Republicans, whose emails I didn't subscribe to in the first place to ignore later.