To offer some closure on the events that led to my owing $45 to Romney for President, Inc: Today I wrote the check and mailed it off to the requisite PO Box in Massachusetts. I did not find the time to make the effort to send it to him entirely in singles. Frankly, the effort to cross the street to drop it into the mailbox was about as much as I could tolerate.
Two things to add as coda.
1) After my initial post, a number of friends of mine stepped up with matching or exceeding donations to President Obama’s campaign, immediately offsetting the damage done by my pledged Romney donation. My friend Zachary Miller, whose own political activism and knowledge makes me look like a 6th grade social studies textbook, felt inspired to create an entire online fundraising apparatus in support of President Obama and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
All told, Zach raised $1,160 for Obama and $120 for Stein.
2) I decided to pen a brand-new letter to go with the check, in light of events since:
To The Campaign of Governor Mitt Romney:
Enclosed please find a check for $45 to Governor Romney’s campaign to become President of the United States. This money is not being sent because I in any way support the candidacy. In fact, this money is being sent because I lost a wager. Like many of the companies in which the Governor’s asset management firm Bain Capital invested, I made a bad bet, and appropriately, the Governor has yet again profited from such a bad bet.
I’ve fulfilled the terms of my bet by sending you the donation but have chosen to do so during the last days of the campaign season in the hopes that the campaign will have little use for it. I send the money hoping that none of it is used to fund yet another outright false attack ad, or to help offset the costs of a campaign appearance in which the Governor will firmly state a position that he didn’t have two weeks, two months, or two years ago.
If your campaign has any principles at all it will process this campaign donation and send it along to the Red Cross so they may continue helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I would hope I didn’t have to specify, but just in case, I mean that you should send the $45 in cash along to the Red Cross, not buy $45 in canned goods to hand out to your supporters so that you can snap photos of the Governor manufacturing his empathy. I also mean that you should send the $45 to be generally distributed, not simply earmarked for the swing states where you think you still have a chance to win.
Alternately, you may send the money to the soup kitchen where Representative Ryan pretended to wash an already cleaned pot for the similar purpose of appearing genuine.
If it’s any consolation, I couldn’t see myself voting for any Republican in the current mode of the GOP. Even if I agreed with the candidate or the party’s positions on the economy, foreign policy, or deficit reduction, I could not in good conscience support a party comprised of people who consider my gay and lesbian friends second-class citizens, worthy of the abuse and scorn that they receive; consider my law-abiding Muslim family to be latent terrorist threats; who have spent the last year trying to offer semantic excuses for rape; who would rather watch a child die for lack of medical treatment than give up a percentage of their shiny toys.
Anyway. Here’s some money. Do whatever you wish with it. The terms of my wager were to send you a contribution of $45; I was not required to send it to you with respect.
Enough, then. Go vote. Build the America you want rather than the America somebody else thinks you deserve.
Current Music: Martha Wainwright, “Factory”