I received in the mail a letter from an organization calling itself “The Democratic Party”. Normally I would throw away such things, but I had nothing to read at hand while I ate my Lucky Charms, so instead I opened it up and gave it a look-see.
This group claims to be a political organization that is opposed to the Republican Party, and was asking for money. I’m not a total sucker, but kept reading on. They said they were for social reform, environmental protection, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, civil rights, fair taxes, and a host of similar policies. I gotta say, these pranksters knew their target well. Even I, a hardcore skeptic, was about to reach for the checkbook! This was a group I could certainly get behind, and I was ready to help them out.
But of course, even the best-woven scams leave one tiny thread dangling that, if pulled on slightly, will unravel the entire web of lies. In this case, they screwed up by actually claiming that instead of being a new face on the political scene, they’d been around for over 150 years! Thinks I, “Really? Wouldn’t I have heard of this?”
So, my cereal finished but my curiosity aroused, I hopped online and did a little research. It turns out there actually is a “Democratic Party” which has had some power in the past 150 years. So even this claim had a grain of truth to it. However, looking at the actual group versus what was on this paper, I quickly realized I was about to be taken in.
Now it’s possible that whoever was running this scam was just using the name of some obscure political group to establish a veneer of legitimacy, and that any money I sent would have just been spent on drugs, booze, hookers, World of Warcraft, or some combination thereof. I could live with that. But if the letter actually had been from this political group, I would have been seriously angry. I looked at the folks who claim to be members of this group, including a guy who actually ran for President in 2004, and was just astounded. My money would have been funding tax cuts for the wealthy, NAFTA, the War in Iraq, the Patriot Act, environmental destruction, curtailing of civil rights, capital punishment, and a host of other sins. I would have been supporting the very issues I was supposedly contributing to fight against!
The more I read, the more transparent the scam was. Was I seriously supposed to believe that an organization which was opposed to the policies and practices of the Republicans would have such a weak voice? If such a group truly did exist, you’d think they’d be having a field day at the moment, taking advantage of the current situation to push hard for justice and reform. Faced with a President who has been revealed as wantonly breaking the law and lying to the people, you would think that any group in opposition would be riding him hard, but I couldn’t find any trace of this. I re-read the letter twice, thinking maybe it was for the “Bemocratic Party” or something, but no attempt at making the words on the paper align with the facts I was seeing was successful.
Eventually I realized I had better things to do than waste my time on foolish pipe dreams of an actual, viable, progressive opposition party, threw the letter away as I should have done in the first place, and got on with my life.
I understand that most of you are smart enough to not be taken in by such phony scams, but I wanted to get this warning out anyway. The letter was pretty cleverly compiled, and could take in someone who didn’t read it carefully and really think about it. Just a heads-up.