Friday’s emails from Joe Biden incited feelings in me. They were not good ones.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!
It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.
The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
Joe Biden sent 3 emails to each account on Friday, which is typical for him. Apparently, the Trump campaign is ramping up to 7-8 a day.
He still hasn’t added me to his mailing list.
Two of Biden’s emails were fairly typical fundraising ones. The first was sent by Pete Buttigieg, though the writing didn’t really sound like him. It made me wonder if he had actually written it, or if the staff had written it for him (or if, like me, he has a hard time writing in his own voice when he isn’t really feeling it. I had the hardest time BSing essays in school…)
The third one was talking about how every dollar contributed helps defeat Trump, and if I’m donating to local organizations or justice organizations, they totally understand, but please, help them too!
It was the second email that upset me.
I believe Donald Trump is a horrible person. I believe he needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible. I believe it is acceptable to be angry at him, to criticize him, and to ignore him.
But I do not believe it is okay to belittle another person. I do not believe it is okay to use your position of power or authority to belittle another person. And yes, by virtue of Donald Trump being a person, I do not believe it is okay to belittle Donald Trump. Be angry and incredulous about his words and his actions, but don’t sink to being mean.
So when I got an email with the subject line “Let’s have some fun on the internet,” I assumed it would be some sort of fundraising game. Who can raise the most money? Donate to unlock badges! See who can donate each unique amount first!
Hey, it’s Rob, Joe Biden’s Digital Director.
On our team, we like to “have fun on the internet.” And you know, there’s nothing more fun than birthdays. They’re the best. Every year, I do a karaoke party and invite a prominent Republican. They’ve never come, though three years ago, Jeb Bush’s press secretary told me to stop emailing him.
Well, someone we all know quite well is celebrating a birthday this weekend. And it’s a big one: his last in the White House. I don’t know how he’ll choose to celebrate: maybe a surprise party during his bunker inspection. An extra half hour of his morning cable news binge. Maybe he’ll have a fast food party like he does for visiting sports teams for whatever reason (??).
Anyway. I’m a big card guy, so I want to send him one, but I need your help.
I had my team work on some messaging and some graphics, but I need one million supporters to add their name to the card.
So what do you say, will you join me in having some fun on the internet today? Check out the card we’re working on below and add your name to help us reach one million co-signers:
To: DONALD TRUMP
So anyway, I hope no one spoils the surprise. But if the President should read this: I hope you enjoy this card. My friends and I worked really hard on it — so maybe give it some space on your fridge. You’re running out of time to do that before voters send you packing, ya know.
Sincerely,Rob Flaherty, Digital Director, Biden for President
There are so many problems with this email. To begin with: don’t feed the troll. Don’t let Trump know how many minds he’s living in rent-free. You know how you snicker when you see Trump obsessing over Hillary Clinton still? He’s snickering when he sees you obsessing over him.
Biden’s team still has to learn this.
I don’t know how he’ll choose to celebrate: maybe a surprise party during his bunker inspection. An extra half hour of his morning cable news binge. Maybe he’ll have a fast food party like he does for visiting sports teams for whatever reason (??).
But this. This made me stop and go “…is this high school again? Is Rob a catty “mean girl”?”
This isn’t okay. We are supposed to be better than this. We’re supposed to be the team of empathy and compassion and kindness and respect. You don’t get to put asterisks on those values and add “except when we don’t like you.”
I hate that I have defended Donald Trump more from the Biden campaign team than anyone else. I hate that I have to defend Donald Trump. There are literally protests across the country saying that it’s not enough to not do bad things, you have to actively stop the bad things from happening. And here’s one of Biden’s directors going “HAHA LET’S JOKE ABOUT HOW MUCH TRUMP SUCKS!”
No. You do not treat other people like this. That is not okay. That is NEVER okay.
Trump treats people like that. We have a choice here.
Be like Trump
Or be better.