In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received phone calls from Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton, among others. Very rudely, I’ve hung up the moment they identified themselves. After all, with a call beginning “Hi, this is Bill Clinton…” I must have been hanging up on a real person, right? Wrong, of course. The phone calls should have begun, “Hi, this is a recording of Bill Clinton…” but, while they never do begin with that truth, the fact is that they are all canned recordings.
The calls are unbelievably irritating, because they always manage to arrive when I’m preparing food, eating food, or washing something. I race to the phone, only to have a canned political speech poured into my ear. Sadly, this type of call is allowed despite my enrollment in California’s Do Not Call Registry.
Apparently New Hampshire voters don’t have to put up with that kind of thing. This is because their do-not-call registry allows them to exclude political calls as well as commercial calls, a fact that made the news because the RNC apparently violated that rule. The RNC has agreed to stop the calls there, but that same article makes much of the fact that the RNC has violated federal law too. If that’s the case, I wonder whether the calls to my home have violated federal election laws.
As it is, I’ll probably never actually know, because I hang up so quickly, whether the calls to my home comply with the federal requirement that “automated calls must identify their source at the beginning of the message.” That is, I’ve never stayed on the line long enough to know whether Bill’s scratchy voice, after first saying “this is Bill Clinton,” goes on to add “calling on behalf of the Democratic party with a political message for you.” (I’ll also probably never know, with the MSM calling the shots, whether Democrats generally have fallen afoul of these same rules.)
I do wonder how effective these calls are. I find them irritating. Do people actually hang on the phone to pick up information from them that they wouldn’t have otherwise? And do they affect people’s voting patterns? Opinions welcome on this one (as always).