Election on Tuesday: Who’s Running?

I’ve commented before on all the political spam I’m receiving in my email, most of it from the Democratic party ([email protected]). In many of their pleadings, they claim they are running against the Koch Brothers. (I like how they capitalize both their name and the B in Brothers.) And who’s running against the Koch Brothers? It appears that Hillary Clinton is.

In a recent email with the subject line “Accept Defeat” (which I’m already doing, because I don’t think I’ll feel like a winner no matter how the election turns out on Tuesday), the first line is, “We are completely out of ideas.” OK. But if you’re out of ideas, why would I want to support you?

A few lines later they tell me, “The Koch Brothers are pummeling us...” and here, I didn’t even know they were running. This email refers to an earlier email from Hillary Clinton. (I’m name-dropping here, trying to impress you with the fact that I get email from Hillary. It appears we are on a first-name basis.) The email goes on to say, “...it doesn’t even look like Hillary Clinton’s email can dig us out of this hole.”

Nobody else is mentioned in the email. It appears the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is trying to tell me the election is between the Koch Brothers and Hillary Clinton. When I vote next Tuesday (many libertarians will criticize me for doing this), I’ll be looking for these names on the ballot.

My direct complaint about this email is a small one, I’ll admit, but the larger lesson in the email is that political battles are more about pulling the emotional levers of voters than talking about issues, or even about candidates. If I gave them money, as they are requesting, what would happen to that money? How would it be spent? Their solicitation tries to push me to give only if I want to support Hillary or beat the Koch Brothers.

Messages like this must work, or they wouldn’t keep sending them. Surely they’ve done the research to know which messages are effective. And if this is the type of message that works, it makes me very uneasy about giving any responsibility for my well-being to the will of the majority, regardless of whether the majority decides to vote for the Koch Brothers or for Hillary Clinton.

Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas.
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