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Campaign Numbers Larry Wines

Campaign Numbers Larry Wines

A personal view of "the numbers" of campaign 2016

Every way you turn, somebody is trying to manipulate you with "New Numbers (Just In!)"

I promise that's not going to happen here. Though you'll likely find some sympathetic commiseration. Allow me to explain. You may or may not know that I established a folder in my email account to be a receptacle for the daily tsunami of "political panic" emails. Therein lies the tale of an especially telling number that seriously increments daily.

Of course, from your own inundation and pseudo-hijackings of your email or social media account, you probably know exactly what goes in my "political panic" folder. Emails with subject lines like, "All Hope LOST," "Utter FAILURE," "Nate Silver says it's HOPELESS," "Facing COLLAPSE," "We're being OUTSPENT 10 TO 1," "We've tried EVERYTHING and now we GIVE UP" (they never do), and the rare but arguably more honest attempt at fleecing, which is something like, "Unless YOU are willing to make the Difference WE'LL LOSE."

All these breathless epistles have titles with a few key words in caps. All are shameless pickpocket operations. Some are "polls" designed as "psy-op" tools to get you to equate something entirely reasonable with only one candidate, to the blow-the-air-raid-sirens exclusion of the other big party's wholly vilified candidate.

Some are "polls" designed as "psy-op" tools to get you to equate something entirely reasonable with only one candidate, to the blow-the-air-raid-sirens exclusion of the other big party's wholly vilified candidate.

And just about all these panic-propelled inbox cloggers thoroughly deserve class-action lawsuits against the senders for total fabrication of material facts. Because somewhere in the content of their fear-based messages, they invent statistics of some kind to propel what, as a result, clearly becomes lies, and that becomes actionable because it's all in an effort to get you to send-in your money as the last person who can prevent the fall of the Alamo, or keep then bomb from hitting the battleship Arizona.

Now, that email folder that catches all this stuff? I didn't get around to setting it up until late at night on the final day of the Democratic National Convention. The Republican Convention had already happened. So both convoys of fertilizer trucks, trying to sell shit as chocolate ice cream, had already passed by. By the way, I had made it a point not to watch either big political party convention. I had been offered, and accepted tickets to attend and enjoy my only two trips all this year to concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. Realizing they were perfectly timed to miss the consecutive Thursday evenings takeovers of TV for the two presidential nominees' speeches, I became especially enthusiastic about the L.A. Philharmonic.

Still, my two-week immersion in Turner Classic Movies and two nights at the Hollywood Bowl must have gone unnoticed by the political establishment's email machine. Perhaps it's because I am a political journalist. Perhaps it's because I am still targeted from back when I was registered with one of the big political parties -- not just registered, but a delegate to multiple conventions, attendee of presidential inaugurations and inaugural balls, and held incidental positions of special responsibility within my state's party hierarchy. Perhaps it's all or some part of that. Or maybe I'm not "special" at all, since everybody and his still-voting dead uncle in Chicago may be just as inundated with this stuff as I am.

Of course, it is statistically true that both big party campaign machines and every superPAC has been working every email and social media list they can buy from the corporate cyber-espionage/espionage purveyors of personal information. They're doing their fear-based blasts at a rate that, collectively anyhow, results in a flood that would make Noah blush. It is an inundation that exceeds -- literally exponentially -- anything anyone has ever seen on behalf of any cause of any kind aimed at selling anything to anyone.

All that said, you just had an opportunity to mentally assess the proportions of what you've been receiving. Perhaps your solution to deal with it has been wiser than mine. Maybe you've perfected the lightning-fast reflexive delete finger. Ah, yes. That, deftly applied as the all-purpose paradigm for all those uninvited dropped-off cyber hyperventilating brats, equally invoked with bipartisan zeal for all panting political crap. Everything suitable for compost were it not all ethereally electronic and therefore useless. Or maybe you will be at that point by the time we're finished here.

Either way, it's time for the numbers. I must note (full disclosure) that my "political panic" folder provides a count only of what I do not open. Anything I get suckered into opening before deporting it to the hall of shame (i.e., that folder) is not registered by the auto-counting function. So, drum roll, maestro.

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Number of unopened "political panic" emails in my one lil' personal mailbox, since just after the Democratic Convention:

3,454, as a partial count, and "at the moment." Ask me again in an hour. That count isn't just partial. It also must be qualified as "And counting."

That candidate-style equivocated parsing -- in English, those are three words that translate to "inaccurate" -- is because it's just the number of unopened emails. The number is not inclusive of the auto-counted emails that I opened, which is about the same.

Sooo, just in my own personal email, I have received approximately SEVEN THOUSAND separate messages of "political panic" since right around the start of the day at midnight Eastern, July 29. By my count, that's been a total of 78 days. To receive 7,000 emails. All intending to influence, then fleece me. And today isn't over yet.

Oh, and that's almost exclusively from just ONE end of the Clump (the Clinton-Trump Clump). I don't get much from the other end of that indigestible mass. But enough of what I read of the daily diatribe claims to be quotes from the other end, so I can readily accept that it's just a mirror -- I didn't say a funhouse mirror because what I see is already so warped in its crafting that it's enough to induce strabismus (eye-crossing) from even brief exposure. Besides, who can use a word with "fun" locked up in it? Funhouse-anything cannot apply to this horrid election nightmare since sometime before Bernie dropped out/sold out (take your pick).

In case you were going to ask, it's no: my "political panic" collection is not a hiding place for any of those missing 33,000 messages from you-know-who's private email. You know, the ones the private email that wasn't really private, given the co-mingling of a legal requirement for preservation by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) owing to holding public office, and that having a head-on with an obsessive desire for secrecy and penchant for deletion -- not to protect government communications, but to protect identities of private foundation fund raising donors because the comingling of efforts wouldn't pass the smell test. And still don't.

Peel yourself off the ceiling, Hillbots. We're almost done.

A final note is warranted. As the keeper of that massive repository of cyber singularities, it's abundantly evident. I'd be remiss not to let you know, as the unintentional curator of the collection. Because the differences of what little of my incoming political email that hasn't joined the quarantined horde?

It all but screams at you: anything I get from the Libertarians or the Green Party has been intelligent and well-reasoned -- so none of that has qualified as "political panic."


Sort of a metaphor for the entire election, eh?

Larry Wines