Thursday, October 30, 2008

My plan to keep politicians from bugging me

Don't worry. I'm not about to engage in another "my political party is great and the one you like is full of idiots" rant.

No, I'm just annoyed as hell about the presidential elections and the local ones here in Saline County, Ark. I can't get away from those damned people and it's frustrating.

Here's what I mean. For the past month, we've had the "Obama channel" running on my Dish Network service (channel 73 for those keeping score at home) for the past month. That channel has been home to an infomercial that's just plain lousy.

To make matters worse, the World Series was delayed this evening to make room for Obama's prime time, infomercial extravaganza. Apparently, the lads in the Obama campaign haven't heard of overkill.

And just the other day, I had some local politician beating on my door at about 8 p.m. trying to get my wife and me to vote for him. If I can remember who he is, I sure as hell won't vote for him. I'm bothered by people all day long and I don't need more aggravation when I'm relaxing at home with my family.

Fortunately, Arkansas is small enough to avoid some of the more obnoxious aspects of political campaigns. I haven't had any of the "robo calls" from the Obama or John McCain campaigns and that's a good thing. What's more, I've got a DVR so I can forward through the lie-packed television commercials that both presidential hopefuls are dumping on the air.

The local politicians, however, still go door to door and beg for votes. I have a three-step plan to stop that nonsense and I figure on putting it in place during the next election.

Step 1 -- a big dog who looks mean

See that dog at the top of this post? That's Winston, our boxer/St. Bernard mix who weighs in at around 140 pounds. He's a very friendly pup, but he's a limping, drooling hulk of a dog who likes to bark at things. He looks mean and has scared the meter reader from the city utility company and a few neighborhood children.

My plan, then, is to chain him to a tree in my front yard during campaign season when I'm home. He wouldn't bite anyone, of course, but look at him -- he could do a lot of damage if he decided to attack someone. Hopefully, that bluff will be enough to scare of politicians. The only flaw here, of course, is that any sleazy politician who gets up the nerve to approach Winston will find out that he's a big baby who just wants to be petted.

Ever had a dog put his paws on your shoulders and give you a hug? Winston does that whenever he can. A hugging dog isn't exactly a mean dog, is he?

Ah, but Winston is only my first line of defense.

Step 2 -- more campaign signs than you can shake a stick at

In addition to my mean-looking dog, I intend to ward off those obnoxious politicians with a bunch of campaign signs. Before even the primaries begin, I figure on taking a look at all the contested races, choosing the candidates I support and then sticking their campaign signs in my yard.

Here's my logic. Let's say John Doe is running for King of Benton against Sneaky Pete. I decided to support John Doe so I get one of his signs and put it in my yard.

John Doe won't stop by and pester me because he's already got my vote, whereas Sneaky Pete might decide to pass my house by and bother my neighbors. After all, what's the point of wasting time talking to a voter who is already committed to a candidate?

The flaw here is that my wife might choose to support a candidate I oppose. In that case, there would be no campaign sign supporting any candidate in a particular race. The lack of a sign, then, might be interpreted as an invitation to show up and beg for votes.

Step 3 -- ask candidates to do menial tasks

If a candidate isn't scared off by the big, barking dog or deterred by a yard full of campaign signs, then I'll resort to a trick I used in college to get rid of vote seekers.

Back when I was a freshman, I was ironing a shirt. Some fellow stopped by who was running for student senate. He started to tell me why he was great and his candidate was an egg-sucking fascist when I interrupted him.

"I'll vote for you if you come in and iron my shirt," I said.

"I'm not ironing your shirt!"

"Then I'm not voting for you."

I shut the door in his face, leaving him standing out in the hall of the dorm. He didn't bother me again. Oh, and I made good on my promise not to vote for him.

A similar tactic would work with these people oozing around my neighborhood and begging for votes.


Follow The Hawg's three-step plan and you, too, could avoid getting pestered during campaign seasons. Of course, I'll be glad when election day has come and gone and we can get back to the business of simply hating the government as a whole instead of despising individuals begging for votes.


Sue said...

I like your steps. Esp. the signs one! I get bugged all the time too! I live in NH, so it's a pain because where supposedly "the first in the nation" My plan was when they come to the door just tell whoever yes I'll vote for whoever they're talking about. That way it shuts them up quick because then they won't stand there forever telling you why you should vote for that person.

HebsFarm said...

I recall several people suggesting that Hilary should iron their shirts, and somehow this was an objectionable suggestion to make... something among feminism and all that hogwash...

"sue's" technique also works on religious persons who knock on your door, just quickly and enthusiastically profess allegiance to Whomever and it will make their day! They will get to make little tally marks on their Heaven checklist! And they will leave!

Patricia said...

We get the "robo" calls you mention all the time. It is so annoying.

Da Old Man said...

I just get the phone calls. The politicians don't come to my 'hood. But they show up at church events, flea markets, street fairs, and every place else where more than 8 people get together.

Anonymous said...

Well, let me present a different view on this. You see, I'm part of the problem. I call people to try to get them out to vote. I go door to door to talk with potential voters about the candidates that I support.

I believe all of this is key to our democracy. We need to get people more informed and more involved. I have been excited that a lot of people are paying attention this year.

So, to your plan: Big dogs don't scare me. I've got big dogs too.

Signs are great. If you have a sign about who you're supporting, it means I can skip your house and go to another house.

Asking people to do tasks: I don't believe in buying votes. That is plain wrong. However, if by giving you a hand, I can get a little more of your time to talk about the issues, I've done that before and I'll do it again.

Nessa said...

I only answer the phone if i know who's calling, so i don't know if i've been bugged or not lol.

You know i'm voting for Obama but I have no signs in my yard because where I live I would be leaving myself open for all my neighbors to come talk to me about defecting from the white race. Ugh. Talks with racist rednecks with about 5 teeth between 12 of them i can do without.

Sooooooooo I get alot of politicians at the door. I open the door a crack while behind me the rottweiler and chihuahua freak the hell out then I just tell them, " yes sir i will be happy to vote for you!!!". I take their card and they leave pretty quickly. I'm not really sure though if it's because i agreed or they're afraid i'll actually open the door lol. Whatever it is, it's great!

Anonymous said...

I had a St. Bernard named Winston who died in 1984. He was a good boy! Cherish your doggy.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Sue -- I wish I could just let things go at that. I tend to want to mess with them, though.

hebsfarm -- I could see how that technique would work on the religious types who show up. I haven't had anyone come knocking on my door trying to convert me for some time, oddly.

If they do, I'll turn that around on them and try to convert them to my Methodist faith.

Heh, heh.

Patricia -- I haven't really had to deal with those this year. So far.

da old man -- We have them turn out for events, too. I just avoid them unless I happen to know them on a personal level.

I know how I'm going to vote. No load of crap delivered by a rascally politician while I'm trying to eat a funnel cake at Old Fashioned Day in Benton is going to change my mind.

Orient -- That kind of crap bugs the hell out of me, honestly (and no offense to you). Here's the thing -- I've got a bachelor's degree in political science and a law degree. I know what I believe and which candidates come somewhat close to that (neither party gives a damn about us working slobs in the middle class, so none will ever represent exactly what I believe).

Furthermore, I'm very familiar with most candidates on a state and local level. I know which ones I can't stand. They can pitch their nonsense elsewhere.

I love the idea of getting a politician to come in and wash some dishes, vacuum my area rugs, etc. A politician willing to do that has my vote -- that person will have proven himself or herself more useful than about 90 percent of the ones in office.

Nessa -- We've got maybe three Obama supporters here in scenic Benton. The bastards stole my McCain/Palin signs.

anonymous -- My Winston is a very good doggie, too. Fortunately, he's only two-years-old and I hope to have him around for a long, long time.

Matt said...

Well, you sold me. That's the best plan I've heard so far. I just don't understand the thinking behind door-to-door campaigning anyway. Are people so stupid and lazy that they would actually vote for a person just because they were the only one who came by their house and ask for their vote? Never mind, I don't think I want an answer to that question. said...

Where I live in Arkansas, there is a big campaign going on for a state congressional seat. Combined, the candidates have spent right at a million dollars for a position that pays $15,000 a year.

Go figure.

I've had both parties knock on my front door. I love to interact with them, especially since I know how tough door-to-door can be.

I asked one campaign volunteer, after they knocked and handed me a nice, glossy brochure, "What is the difference between your candidate and the other one? Why are they a better choice?"

They nervously smiled, shifted their feet and said they really didn't know! Then they asked me to hold on a second, and ran to get answers from the person who was working the houses on the other side of the street.

A missed opportunity, for sure.

Sherry Martschink said...

As a former candidate in several campaigns, I can say I believe some of your tactics would work! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day; I'm glad you liked the photo of the "drunk" pumpkins on Wordless Wednesday.

yanjiaren said...

The problem is they harass you before the elections then when it's all over they only harass you again for you to pay more in taxes.

Rebecca said...

Great advice! I also found that a yard with Ron Paul signs works, too.

lala said...

LOL...I hate to tell you this, but your big puppy dog is not very scary looking. He looks like a big sweetie!

Steve said...

Oh, that's right. You're not allowed to shoot them, are you?

The Natural State Hawg said...

Matt -- No, you DON'T want an answer to that question. I used to think enough people paid attention to make things work out fine, but I've been wondering about that lately.

Paul -- That's the oddest race in Conway, isn't it? What's the point of spending that much money for such a minor position. I don't get it.

I generally just send campaigners on their way. I grew up around Arkansas politics, so it's my assumption that most people are simply lying through their teeth when they're running for office.

Cynical? Yes, but this state has been led by such rascals as Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee.

Sherry -- Honestly, no great offense to candidates (well, a little). I can make up my mind without being coaxed, however.

I do need to steal that pumpkin display one of these days.

Yanjiran -- But I thought voluntarily turning over your hard earned pay to a wasteful government was patriotic.

Rebecca -- A Ron Paul sign probably just confuses people. Good plan!

Lala -- He is a big sweetie. However, people tend to be scared of him. I don't understand it, so I might as well exploit it.

Steve -- Well, this is Arkansas...