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Indulge me, please, in some parental pride. My daughter Rosalind is a good citizen. She gives blood regularly. She votes in every election. She regularly calls her elected officials – from State representatives to U.S. senators – to register her beliefs on a variety of issues. In 7th grade, she received a citizenship award from the San Antonio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for organizing against censorship.
And President Donald Trump counts her as one of his best supporters. He told her so in an email on May 1. He told her he wanted her to download a special campaign app, and that “I’m only alerting my TOP SUPPORTERS about this app, so download it now.”
It was a very special app. It would enable her to be a Trump Team Leader and “Earn Trump Points toward epic rewards like meeting me on the campaign trail later this year.” It would also authorize her to get early access to new Trump merchandise and “EARLY-ACCESS to win Trump Gear that [Trump] personally HAND-SIGNED.”
As one of his top supporters, Rosalind needed to know the danger the nation faces. Late last week President Trump himself began an email to her this way: “Can you believe it? Crooked Hillary held a virtual fundraiser for Sleepy Joe and brought in $2 MILLION in a single night. She’s still so bitter that she lost to me BIG TIME in 2016 so now she’s trying to get revenge by helping elect a fellow crook and BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALIST.”
A couple of paragraphs later he got to the point: “We need to make a statement. If those CROOKS can raise $2 million, then I know we can do even better. With your help, I want to DOUBLE IT!”
And there was more. On May 17, the Trump campaign offered her a chance to obtain the Official Trump Coloring Book for a contribution of only $25 or more. But she had to act fast.
“They are already FLYING off the shelves, and we only have 600 left in stock,” read another solicitation. “Since you’re one of President Trump’s top supporters, we’ve reserved one just for you. We can only hold your order for THREE HOURS before we will be forced to release it to someone on our waiting list.”
Rosalind didn’t bite for the simple reason that she is not one of Trump’s top supporters. In fact she was one of about 450,000 people at the Women’s March on Washington after Trump’s inauguration – a protest of the president’s behavior and policy positions.
So how did she get on the Trump list? The only thing she can think of is that she has, on occasion, let the president know about her concerns. Recently she made for him the case for supporting the U.S. Postal Service. But, she said, the White House switchboard doesn’t take such information anymore, so she has to post her comments with her email address on a White House website.
I credit the enterprise of former San Antonian and current Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. He’s a hard charger who recently tweeted, “For nearly three years we have been building a juggernaut campaign (Death Star). It is firing on all cylinders.”
Trump’s 2020 campaign is one with no limits, apparently, not even sending out fundraising emails worthy of the worst of televangelists. A few more examples from the scores of Trump emails that have filled up Rosalind’s inbox:
Just last week an email signed by President Trump, next to his photo, began, “Why haven’t you accepted your invitation to become an Official 2020 Trump Life Member?” The email continued: “I’m counting on loyal supporters like YOU to be our front line of defense against the constant lies and attacks coming from Democrats and the FAKE NEWS. I can’t do it alone. We only have 600 spots left on the Life Member roster and I really want your name to be on it.”
Do you think there were really only “600 spots left” on the Life Member roster? If so, here are a some other things you can believe.
From “Trump Finance” on May 1: “We just had a very important fundraising meeting to go over our April End-of-Month results, and we noticed that your name was MISSING from the list of donors. Since you’ve been such a loyal supporter in the past, you were identified as one the few Patriots [whom] the President wanted to extend the deadline for.”
The day before an email, again calling her a “TOP supporter” made a mysterious claim: “For a limited time, President Trump has authorized a 5X-MATCH on your next contribution made toward our April End-of-Month GOAL.”
The mystery is where the extra money “authorized” by Trump is coming from? The president’s personal bank account? Inquiring minds want to know.
An April 29 email began, “We wanted to reach out because we just got off a call with President Trump to review the most recent list of Patriots who contributed to our critical $5,000,000 April End-of-Month Goal, and he noticed your name was STILL MISSING.” It added, “President Trump is counting on his BEST supporters, like YOU, to step up.”
A separate email the same day said, “The President will be reviewing the list of Deadline Donors later tonight. Will he see your name on it?”
And the next day, an email from Donald J. Trump: “My team is giving me the FINAL list of supporters TONIGHT – will I see your name?”
If you believe that, you are probably a proud alumnus of Trump University. But clearly people exist who do believe it, people who can give in the $25 range who think Trump will know of their gift or, perhaps more importantly, of their failure to give. If these emails didn’t work, Parscale and his crew wouldn’t be sending them. That is very sad.
One last thing: A few faithful readers leave comments suggesting that I only criticize Republicans. Among statewide leaders, that tends to be true. There are no Democrats in those posts and haven’t been for more than a quarter of a century. Perhaps I should resurrect some of my columns on Democrat Gib Lewis, the former Texas Speaker of the House, and his relationship to the late Oliver Heard.
I confess that I am no fan of Trump’s. But if anybody who doesn’t support Democratic nominee Joe Biden gets a similar barrage of fallacious fundraising emails from his camp, please forward them. If they are half as amusing I’ll have another column.