Yet another urgent solicitation arrived in my inbox today. The political pleas for my money come every morning from many directions since well before the election.
In every instance I am warned if I fail to send a check before some urgent deadline, all will be lost. Most messages even offer to match my contribution by four or five times, as if elections to come will be settled by the highest bidders.
And that, valued readers, is the pathetic place we've arrived at in these once United States of America. Pony up a donation if you truly care, or suffer the consequences. To political parties raking in mountain ranges of money, the stuff clearly rules everything.
Maybe it's true. Perhaps we've arrived at the disgusting place where the amount of money a candidate can raise determines whether they win or lose. If valid, that's beyond shameful.
And in light of what we've all witnessed about money supposedly not translating to votes, I have serious doubts.
Should one decide to send a donation, they can be certain their contribution won't be nearly enough. One is now chiseled into the party's forever list. And in short order, one will understand the overwhelming need for cash in politics is insatiable and grossly corruptive.
Call me naïve, but I have seen in recent years that millions spent on a number of national races didn't guarantee victory.
It seems to me the wisest among us instead will pay close attention to and learn from what just happened in states like Georgia.
Regardless of your politics, there is much to be learned from Democrat Stacey Abrams and her extensive efforts at registering Georgia voters that likely led to the defeat of two GOP senators. Agree with her politically or not, Abrams and her followers clearly put forth the time, energy and overall effort necessary to secure hundreds of thousands of consequential votes.
Every state and our nation would benefit far more by examining and reforming their state's election processes and working tirelessly over years to ensure every prospective voter is informed, registered and counted.
Whether it means visiting door-to-door, or leasing buses to get voters to and from the polls, I believe those personalized methods will be more effective than waging political war through endless financial contributions. Just ask those folks in Georgia.
Randy Esters, president of the North Arkansas College in Harrison, told me the other day that the hundreds of vaccine doses being distributed at mass inoculations at that college in concert with the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center have gone smoothly in every respect, a fact reinforced by positive letters to the editor in the local daily paper.
It touched him deeply to see veterans wearing service caps receiving the vaccine when phase one began weeks ago. "They were just so grateful to have the vaccination," he said. "Some had tears in their eyes out of thankfulness."
Such heartfelt appreciation from aging veterans should make all of us who have been vaccinated feel likewise for all the time, resources and energy devoted to making all three vaccines available in what many called an impossible goal one year ago.
I was wondering the other day just how many Arkansans have been issued medical marijuana identification cards. It seemed reasonable the number had to be perhaps as many as 30,000. Shows--yet again--what I don't know.
The actual number, according to a modicum of research, says 60,000 such cards are circulating across the state; the cost to acquire the card is $50, after meeting specific medical criteria affirmed by a physician.
I also know, from discussions with friends who hold such cards, how beneficial cannabis has been in helping them overcome pain and distress. And that's good news for many who clearly need the relief this drug provides.
I read that some residents of the Cherokee Nation are upset that the Jeep brand now offends them after daring (for decades) to name some of its vehicles after their tribe, as in the SUV's Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.
They certainly are welcome to their feelings. I see things differently. I've long considered Jeep's Cherokee designation as a tribute to the people of that nation rather than a negative connotation.
Apparently the folks at Jeep agree. They say they named their vehicles after Native Americans and their many positive values and qualities.
Who knows, valued readers? Perhaps one day if the stars align just right, the boardroom execs at Maserati may overdose on caffeine and decide to rename their classic and incredibly expensive vehicle the Maserati Masterson. I promise not to take offense. Not in the slightest.
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at email@example.com.