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February 25, 2003 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Be a GOP Team Leader! Mentioned briefly in a previous post, you can join the Team to send pre-written letters to the newspaper editors around the country to tell them what you think of our President, or better yet, create your own differing viewpoints using the same technology. Thanks GOP and thank you Sneakemail! You're the best!
posted by CrazyJub (28 comments total)

 
Of course it's a pre-written letter! I don't know about you, but I write letters and send them. I don't send paper and ask for an appropriate time to come over and jot down some thoughts for the recipient's reading pleasure.

I hate the English language, oh so very much.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:26 PM on February 25, 2003


Hey there, Mr. Crankypants. Unless I've completely misunderstood, I take "prewritten" to mean the letter has already been written for me, and all I need do is sign up to be a GOP Team Leader, mindlessly hit "send", and the wonderfully vapid letter for which I had absolutely no personal input will be whisked away to the media outlet(s) of my choice. In other words, I'm sending a letter which has been written for me, beforehand, hence prewritten.
posted by starvingartist at 2:06 PM on February 25, 2003


"...you earn GOPoints for each Action Item completed. Action Items range from writing a letter to your editor to calling local voters and gauging public opinion. The GOPoints you earn can, in turn, be redeemed for collateral of your choice, ranging from coolers to mouse pads."

CrazyJub, this post alone could make you eligible for a free tote bag! Come to think of it, I could use a new cooler...

Did I ever mention to you folks that George W. Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership?
posted by Ljubljana at 2:27 PM on February 25, 2003


"...you earn GOPoints for each Action Item completed. Action Items range from writing a letter to your editor to calling local voters and gauging public opinion. The GOPoints you earn can, in turn, be redeemed for collateral of your choice, ranging from coolers to mouse pads."

CrazyJub, this post alone could make you eligible for a free tote bag! Come to think of it, I could use a new cooler...

Did I ever mention to you folks that George W. Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership?
posted by adameft at 2:32 PM on February 25, 2003


I just learned what GOP stands for, and that GOP is the youngest of the two parties in USA.
I think this is my single most enlightening insight into politics.
posted by spazzm at 2:49 PM on February 25, 2003


Of course there is nothing new or insidious about this. I am involved in several organizations with activism groups and the pre-written mass email is a common tactic.

I am sure Greenpeace does it, I am sure NOW does it and and so on -- so why is it a problem when the GOP does it?
posted by soulhuntre at 3:02 PM on February 25, 2003


Er, how is this any different than the prewritten protest message authored by the Virtual March folks:

Dear Senator:

I am a constituent of yours and I write today as a participant in Win
Without War's Virtual March. I am one of the majority of Americans
concerned that President Bush's rush to war is dangerous and
unnecessary.

Our nation needs to support tough United Nations inspections. Going
to war with Iraq will kill thousands of civilians and soldiers,
create an atmosphere that breeds terrorists, and divert money from
programs that can really create a safer and more just society.

Please do everything you can to support the inspections process and
resist our nation rushing to war.

Sincerely,
(We'll add your name and address here)




Metafilterians, please stop the pants-wetting. People of varying political parties are going to have varying political agendas. Some you may agree with, some you may disagree with. It's part of life.
posted by Karl at 3:42 PM on February 25, 2003


Wanna get more creative with your pre-written political spam? Try this:

Create Your Own Republican Form Letter

It's a mad-libs approach to mindless propaganda. Appropriate, really...
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:52 PM on February 25, 2003


Also, just curious as to why this was posted, or what discussion it was supposed to engender....CrazyJub?
posted by Karl at 4:01 PM on February 25, 2003


Yes, Artifice_Eternity, indeed that link is a goldmine of wit and thoughful commentary:

No doubt you've been saying to yourself, "I'd love to be part of this cool new trend, but there's a problem -- unlike those letter-writers, I have the ability to think for myself! What can I do?

I mean, anyone who participates in the Virtual March or a protest in NYC clearly has a "mind of their own" right?

Barf.
posted by Karl at 4:06 PM on February 25, 2003


That's it, slam the messenger when you don't like the message! Here's another message/messenger for you to slam:

There is a direct correlation to a higher education level and propensity towards liberal ethics. Go read a book little attack doggies.

BTW, just WTF is a "conservative" these days you Grand Old Potty members?
posted by nofundy at 4:26 PM on February 25, 2003


So what your saying, nofundy, is that hundreds of thousands of minorities (blacks, Asians, Latinos) in the US who statisically have less education are also less likely to obtain the vaunted, enlightened rubric of "liberal"? Interesting theory. It's also classist/racist garbage.

Now run along to your Poly-Sci 101 Class. Adults are discussing things here. Perhaps you can ask your kindly old professor to define "conservative" for you, so you're not too in the dark about the other political half of the country. Come back when you have something intelligent to add, instead of the usual dreck.
posted by dhoyt at 4:46 PM on February 25, 2003


There is also a "correlation" between liberal thought and the greatest political mass murders of the 20th century, if you want to be so broad in your statistics.

Read a book, indeed.
posted by dhoyt at 4:55 PM on February 25, 2003


>Metafilterians, please stop the pants-wetting.

There are a couple obvious differences.

First off, a letter to your congressperson is a private communication between constitiuent and office holder. A newspaper letter is supposedly a real letter from a reader. Filling up newspaper PO boxes hoping editors think its "the majority opinion" or whatever they're really looking for just isn't the same as expressing your views to the person who is supposed to represent you. Your congressperson is not a media outlet. The GOP team leaders are fighting a media war, not a political war. Big difference.

Also they get free crap. I don't get free crap with say, the ACLU's free fax action alerts. Shows you where the money is.
posted by skallas at 5:12 PM on February 25, 2003


Also, just curious as to why this was posted, or what discussion it was supposed to engender....CrazyJub?

Discussion? Well, let's just say that if 100 or so people here decide to use the Team Leader site to create their own custom letters and send them along, that would be good enough for me. And if those letters should happen to contain opposite viewpoints of the website in question, then I'm a happy guy!
posted by CrazyJub at 6:13 PM on February 25, 2003


Almost every political organization does this.

The only oganizations that don't do it are the poorly run ones that are managed by people still living in the '80s.

Recipients of these letters (newspapers and politicians) know how things work and they are very good at weeding out the prefabricated letters from original content. Usually, you have to be near blind to not spot a prefabricated letter.

Getting grassroots voices to be heard is big business here in Washington. A similar example is companies that will call people, ask them how they feel about a certain issue, and if a person responds a given way, they get the option of being immediatelly transferred to their congressman's office to give their rep a piece of their mind...
posted by Witold at 7:40 PM on February 25, 2003


they are very good at weeding out the prefabricated letters from original content

They probably are now that they have seen these letters worded exactly the same way in their inbox too many times, but when this GOP thing first got started, many newspapers printed them in their Letters to the Editor section. Here's a list of links to a bunch of them. Some of the links don't work anymore because as soon as the editors realized they had been duped, they pulled them from the site, and others have moved into member archives, but I think you'll still get the idea that at first ... they did get in the papers.

I doubt that'll work anymore ... at least not if they have decent editors. Quite frankly, I don't think I will ever personally forget the line "When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership."

Personally, I think if you can't be bothered to write your own letters to editors and politicos, then you need to sit down and really think about why you feel the way you think you do about the issues. If I worked at a newspaper, I'd treat these things like spam.
posted by Orb at 10:34 PM on February 25, 2003


Liberal utopian geeks are always carrying on about how the Power of the Internet is going to change everything in politics, but all it takes is for a political party that they didn't vote for to harness this great force and use it as they predicted for them to get their thongs in a knot.

I can't stop laughing.

OK, I can. I understand the anger those pre-written letters are causing the left, so here's a letter you can use. It applies to any subject:

Dear Editor,

The Resident Bush was selected, not elected, by the thugs in black robes called the Supreme Court. He's nothing more than a puppet for the Big Texas Oil Companies and the election in Florida was handed to him by his brother. The Republicans had a riot in Florida, and it was very bad. Bartlett is my president, except when he's mean.

Bushie has gone and isolated America from our good long-time allies, France and Belgium, and that's got to be bad for the chocolate supply. I'm against the death penalty and I support a woman's right to choose. Meat is murder, and the planet's resources would be used more better if we ate more soybeans. Tofu tastes really good, especially when you're high.

There are too many cats running around, and you should have them all neutered or it will be bad. No one should wear fur, and SUVs pollute the ocean. I like whales and butterflies.

Please recycle, Free Mumia!, let the Native Americans gamble, abolish IQ tests, but leave Iraq in chains. War is not healthy for children and things. Ride a bicycle and love your mother [Earth]. Capitalism is death.

Peace,

[Insert name here]

--

Now the playing field is appropriately levelled and the pie is higher.
posted by BubbaDude at 3:34 AM on February 26, 2003


Ooh, Mr. dhoyt intimidates me!

The practice is commonly referred to as Astroturfing and this already completed email just creates further chaff in the stream many depend on to communicate with their elected leaders. It's a stupid idea and is intended for those too illiterate to compose a letter on their own.

Dhoyt, I work with well educated persons and it is difficult indeed to find a single freeper or dittohead amongst them. Education and open-mindness9liberalism) are related but have nothing at all to do with poor and disenfranchised people who subscribe to a particular political party.

BTW, Thanks for the insults!
posted by nofundy at 6:16 AM on February 26, 2003


BubbaDude - You forgot to mention the 'Patriot' Acts, 1 and 2.

But you forget that editors won't publish such long letters. So please forgive me for editing your letter - and removing extraneous points in the process - down to a length more likely to be published:

"The Resident Bush was selected, not elected, by the thugs in black robes called the Supreme Court. He's nothing more than a puppet for the Big Texas Oil Companies and the election in Florida was handed to him by his brother."

Technically, you know, those 90,000 people illegally purged from the voter rolls in Florida would have won the state, with a wide margin, for Gore. (Not to mention the other types of vote fraud which Florida has admitted to in the NAACP court case over the 2000 election in Florida) And -gee, gosh, golly!- two of the Supreme Court Justices had relatives working for the Bush Campaign. Thus:

"US President comes to power through election fraud, nepotism"

Best to keep your letter-to-the-editor talking points simple.
posted by troutfishing at 6:28 AM on February 26, 2003


Can I be a "cheerleader for the GOP"?

I made up this chant:
"Oil, money, fraud, power!
missiles, profits, war, death!"

posted by troutfishing at 6:30 AM on February 26, 2003


Gee, troutfishing and nofundy, I was wondering who to blame for the left's reputation as whiny, puerile & deeply hypocritical about their own "open-mindedness" came from. I guess I have you all to thank, you make it easier for the rest of us moderate/centrists to distance ourselves.
posted by Karl at 7:02 AM on February 26, 2003


Gosh, it's almost as if BubbaDude is implying that actually sticking to an opinion about something means you can just laugh at it later for being nothing but tired rhetoric. Guess that's why he only decided a week ago that he's always cared about the plight of the Iraqi people.

The irony, of course, is that half of what he's listed in his letter is something I'd say proudly. Yeah, I'm against the death penalty, support a woman's right to choose, think Bush stole the election mainly due to a biased Supreme Court and orchestrated GOP-funded pressure tactics, is a dangerous isolationist, and that SUVs and fur coats are stupid, ugly and wasteful.

And your point is? Or was the concept that you disagree with that supposed to be the funny part?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:43 AM on February 26, 2003


starvingartist: it must be tough, living with no sense of humour....
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:00 AM on February 26, 2003


Karl - When unwilling or unable to debate substance, fling shit, eh?

Monkey confined to cages in zoos sometimes take to doing this.

Poopyhead Bush bashers!
posted by troutfishing at 10:12 AM on February 26, 2003


...puerile ...

You're outdoing yourself, troutfishing.
posted by Karl at 10:50 AM on February 26, 2003


the rest of us moderate/centrists to distance ourselves

Geez, I've never heard being a right wing nut called that before Mr. Puerile. Can you typecast anyone like that? Come on and debate the issue at hand monkey man. (I can sling shit too!)

O' Defenders Of All Things Duhbya!
Please pardon my egregious behavior of having a brain and using it. I must truly deserve your bleating and ask no quarter. I must truly also be a pinko commie cheese eating surrender monkey but please don't tell Ashcroft, OK? I hear he has a form letter on the web to turn in those who question the Boy King.
posted by nofundy at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2003


You guys are amazing. At every turn, you perpetuate the worst kinds of stereotypes--exactly what I was just speaking of.

Nofundy, I'm amazed at how many times you'd been played a fool on MeFi via your own semi-coherence and hoary cliches, and yet you keep coming back.
posted by Karl at 11:17 AM on February 26, 2003


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