"A dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter."Well, I guess the Christmas truce is over.
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #1
Today I got a phone call from someone, or something, called Brian who claimed to be conducting a survey for the NRA. He wanted me to listen to a recorded message from
So I didn't pay a lot of attention to the recorded message: just something about how President Obama and the media were trying to take away everybody's Second Amendment rights before his term is up and, "we don't have the media and we don't have their billions of dollars." Uh-huh. You want to know why the NRA doesn't have billions of dollars? Because they spend all their money buying every congressperson that they can: mind, soul, and body.[*](insofar as the body is used to vote on the floor of Congress)
Anyway, so then Brian got back on the line and asked for my opinion and...well, I let him have it. I mean, I REALLY let him have it. In retrospect, I wish that I had not lost my temper, but I have been a sworn enemy of the NRA for as long as I've been aware of their existence, and the fact that they would have the unmitigated gall to violate the sanctity of my home and ask me for blood money...
I almost feel slightly sorry for Brian, though, except that I'm still not sure whether or not he was a real person or a prerecorded interactive AI. My suspicion is that he was a real person, but he had some sort of script of prewritten responses to possible comments, and that "you're raping the Constitution and everything the Founders stood for" probably wasn't on there. He also seemed to be bound by some sort of rule that he had to respond to everything I said (as best he could) and couldn't hang up unless I hung up first.
Needless to say, right away I asked him to remove my number from their call list, and Brian asked, "Can you confirm your phone number for me?" Why, so you can sell it to your conservative cronies? I refused. He called me; he knows what my number is. I, of course, added HIS number to MY call-rejection list as soon as possible after the call was over, and I think I made things unpleasant enough for him that he will see to it that no one from their organization calls me ever again.
I have always been opposed to everything having anything to do with guns. Always. That is the ONE political issue on which I have remained ABSOLUTELY STEADFAST. Even when I was conservative as a kid--even when I was a teenager and just thought I was conservative--I have always, always, ALWAYS been opposed to EVERYTHING having ANYTHING to do with guns.[*](Lest I be construed: No, I am not opposed to police/law enforcement, but I am opposed to them carrying firearms. Just because something is a necessary evil doesn't make it less evil.) So, naturally I was curious as to (a) how the NRA got my number and (b) why on God's green earth they ever thought it was a good idea to call ME, of all people, and ask me for money. I asked Brian how he got my number, and he said--I don't remember exactly how he phrased it, but he said you've been involved with or supported (or something) similar issues in the past. At this point, I was genuinely confused, and I said, "What issues?" because, obviously, if I have been involved in or supported or contributed to something that would give the NRA the idea that I would be receptive to a phone call from them soliciting donations, I want to know what it is so that I can renounce it immediately. But Brian refused to tell me.
There's only one entity I can think of that would give my name and number to the NRA: Kristi Noem. Once she ran an internet ad disguised as a poll about gun issues, and I foolishly clicked it thinking that she actually wanted to know what I thought about gun issues instead of just wanting to promote her NRA-funded agenda. Needless to say, I was almost immediately disabused of the notion that Kristi Noem gives a damn about what I think.
What really burns me is this is a woman whom I must now beg, with whom I must plead, before whom I must grovel and essentially debase myself in the quixotic hope that she will allow me to keep my health insurance. And to rub salt in the--thankfully metaphorical--wound, I know that it probably won't make any damn difference whatsoever, because she's run consistently on a platform of repealing Obamacare, and she's not going to give it up now just because I ask her to. She's not the type to change course at mile 25 of the marathon; she's the type to win at all costs, even if that means running over everything and everyone in her path.
And now that same woman has sold me out to my sworn enemies and dirtied my good name.
I don't know how deep these tendrils reach; I don't know if I'll be getting more phone calls from groups that I regard as nothing less than terrorist organizations. But if any more of them try to contact me, then by God and the U.S. Constitution, I'll make them sorry they ever learned my name.