Sometimes, the answer is unequivocally in the question. Yes, there’s the “rhetorical question”, where the answer, by its construction, is implied by the question, as in “Would you like to have a punch in the nose?” to which the answer, except for masochists, is the overwhelmingly intended, “No, thank you.”
But I’m talking about something different. I’m talking about a question wherein the answer is obvious, but that answer does not make sense.
For some time now, I have been receiving, on an almost daily basis, e-mails from – I am making a judgment here, but their content, I believe, reflects its correctness – extreme Right Wing organizations. My name has, apparently, been included on some type of targeted mailing list.
Leading to the preliminary wondering: If somebody like me is on the targeted mailing lists of these extreme Right Wing organizations…
“Don’t send one to Obama.”
“Michelle. But that’s it.”
I kind of like getting e-mail. It means somebody knows I’m here. When an AOL “mail bing” goes off and I see a number in the twenties in the little red circle, I get excited to see that so many people are writing to me.
I imagine companions from the past I’ve lot contact with. Blog commenters with effusive compliments. (Or quibbles. Quibbles are good too.) Secret admirers – I am always hoping for one of those. One? Why be stingy? A club full!
An entire website dedicated to me. Wouldn’t that be loverly!
What I actually receive, however, numerically more than any other category of e-mails, are missives from, well, in the past two days, I’ve heard from The Second Amendment Foundation, Conservative Actions Alert, GOP Contacts Alert, Tea Party Contacts, Conservative Daily (with their “Daily Sanity” reports), Citizens Committee For the Right To Keep and Bear Arms and The Minuteman Project (“The Common Sense Gun Lobby.”)
I am not entirely ungrateful. I say to these organizations, “Thank you for thinking about me.” And why not? Without them, I’d be receiving seven fewer e-mails.
These guys are my “stocking stuffers.” They make me feel good by inflating my self-perceived popularity, my thinking: They must like me; they’re sending me e-mail.
Not only that, but these e-mails are teaching me things. I’m learning about the Obama Administration’s drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies the right to examine our personal finances.
I’m learning about the economic collapse that will be visited upon us in months, and the murderous consequences to my myself and my family that will inevitably ensue.
I’m learning about “Obamacare Madness” – Forty Percent Tax on Healthcare Plans – and the Obamacare Survival Guide billionaire Donald Trump says is a “must- read.”
I’m learning how President Obama wants to “rule by dictatorship”, and how “the Obama administration agenda is on a steamroller effect to go against the will of the American people.”
I’m learning how “Obama is unrelenting in his push for the gradual disarmament of the American people.”
And much, much more.
Yes, the language is a little overheated, the claims of the current government’s plans for us is less than fully supported by the facts, and the fear of our imminent national collapse is, possibly, exaggerated. And that’s where my question that has the answer already in it comes from?
With this method of communication, which rises beyond the “informational” to… I don’t know, something a little more partisan, is the disseminators of these communications’ purpose to attract “independents”, or are they merely trying to energize their base?
The answer, if you’re at all objective, seems rather clearly to be that the disseminators are attempting to energize their base. That’s the easy one. The next question is trickier, and I must candidly admit I do not have the answer.
I consider myself an open-minded person, albeit with left-leaning tendencies. What that means is, despite this admitted proclivity, I remain eminently persuadable by a well-reasoned argument. The e-mailers, reflected by the fact that they are bothering to connect with me, appear to be interested in converting me to their side.
The question is, given their dim view of anyone who doesn’t agree with them, and more importantly, their molten mode of communication…
How do they ever expect to win me over?