Setting Priorities

S M Chen
5 min readSep 7, 2020

This being a year of Presidential election and that of some Congressional seats, the quest for funds by both major political parties is relentless, aggressive and expected. It will probably not abate until after November 3.

There is sometimes what I consider some deception involved. At the top of an incoming e-mail one is sometimes asked to participate in a survey or a preference for a topic or candidate. But the last question of the ‘survey’ is usually a request for a donation. It may not be for a lot, but it’s a request nonetheless. Sometimes one is made to feel guilty if one does not donate, as if the outcome hinges on the donation (sometimes it seems to).

Often a goal of a dollar amount has been set. And not reached. The message is conveyed that, if the goal is not met, such a policy will not pass or such candidate will not get elected.

I find this a bit annoying. If the party in question wants my money, why not divulge it at the inception of an incoming message?

I’ve taken to scrolling to the end of a political e-mail to see the intent of the sender and to anticipate the amount of guilt I should feel if I choose not to donate.

Or, worse yet, sometimes the e-mail will say: “We want your opinion, not your money.” But somehow, before the end of the e-mail, it becomes apparent that they do want my money, after all.

Sometimes, I want to write back: “It’s the message; not the money, that should matter.”

But I never do.

The message often seems to get lost in the pursuit of money.

It shouldn’t be this way. For the inference is the party (and, good or bad, the politics of the USA remains largely a two-party system) with deeper pockets will prevail. Not always, but enough of the time or why would they be asking for donations?

Money shouldn’t determine policy, who our leaders will be, what platform they will pursue. What laws get passed. Who we are as a nation. Who our offspring may turn out to be.

It’s been said (Lord Acton, in an 1887 letter) power corrupts. And absolute…