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If you’re like me, you get a hundred or more fundraising emails every day from corporate and “centrist” Democratic candidates. They offer dire predictions about the end of civilization as we know it if we don’t send our money their way NOW!

To be honest, the situation is dire, but more often than not, these folks aren’t the solution.

Two incumbents I supported in the last election cycle reneged on their promises, so they’ve lost my support until after they deliver. Once you’re in a position of power, no matter how minor, you must do more than say the right thing.

Others running for the first time may or may not follow through on their promises, but they at least need to make them if they want my money.

When I receive these manipulative fundraising emails blaming me personally for the end of the world, I have a short reply saved in a Word document that I cut and paste into my reply. We’re all so busy and stressed that we don’t have time to compose these replies over and over, day after day.

Let me explain why I bother.

Years ago, I went out on a date that ended poorly. When the guy called later to set up another date, I declined. Years passed before we ran into each other again, and he wanted to know why I had dumped him.

“You don’t wear deodorant.”

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He’d thought I hadn’t found him attractive, that the reason might have been X or Y or Z. He’d racked his brains trying to figure out what he’d done wrong. The answer had seemed obvious to me. Surely, he knew that most people wore deodorant and that stinking could at least theoretically be a turnoff for some people.

But he needed to hear it.

It’s hard for me to believe most candidates don’t read polls and understand that the “center” is far, far to the left of where most centrist candidates are. Do I really want to vote for anyone so uneducated they aren’t aware?

But even if they do know, it won’t hurt for them to hear it again. And it’s useful to tell them why we aren’t donating. They’re not mind readers. They might think they’re not far enough to the right. So when we can, let’s give them our reasons.

I recommend coming up with your own reply, as there are obviously many valid points to make besides the ones I’ve mentioned. But here’s a template to get you started:

You asked if there was "anything" you could say to get me to donate to your campaign.

Yes! Yes, there is!

You could come out in support of Medicare for All, tuition-free college and vocational training, a ban on all fracking and new fossil fuel projects.

You could come out in support of fare-free public transit (and more public transit).

You could come out in support of subsidized childcare.

Yes! There are plenty of things you could say to get me to donate to your campaign!

I'm still waiting for you to say even one of them.

Please do while there's still time.

I have limited funds and can only donate to candidates who meet the bare minimum requirements. I don't have enough to give to every "lesser evil" out there.

Please let me know when I can donate to your campaign!

Thank you!

There’s no value in not being civil, but there’s also no value in simply ignoring the fundraising emails. Even if only one low-level staffer or volunteer reads our reply, that’s an important message reaching someone who needs to hear it.

Few of us have the stamina to reply to every single fundraising email from dozens of lackluster candidates but sending even a couple a day is worth the few seconds it takes.

There are plenty of essential time-intensive and energy-consuming political actions we can take if we want to save democracy (and the planet) but dedicating five minutes a day to a Cut and Paste Reply session is something even the busiest among us can squeeze into our day.