My mother, God rest her soul, went from being an FDR/JFK Democrat for most of her life to being a very conservative Republican in her retirement years. Abortion was the reason, as it was for many Catholics of her generation. She gave little bits of money, $25 mostly, to many right-wing outfits that sent her mail. More than two years after her death, the mail is still coming.
The Heritage Foundation is one of the most persistent post-mortem mailers, sending literally dozens of fund-raising letters a year, including a membership renewal notice this week.
Heritage's head-grifter Jim DeMint notionally signed the letter, in which he wondered where his $25 was.
A sticker on the envelope warned this was Mom's "LAST CHANCE TO RENEW." A "Membership Renewal" box at the top of the letter noted that Mom's last $25 contribution was made in January 2010, and suggested another tax-deductible $25 for 2013.
The letter begins with a guilt trip bit that may work with some forgetful seniors:
I've written you several times this year to renew your membership with The Heritage Foundation. I'm very disappointed that you haven't replied.(All emphases are in the original.)
Maybe you don't realize how important you are to Heritage. We depend on you: You are part of our team.
How does anyone dare disappoint Jim DeMint, and refuse to be part of the Heritage team?
Especially given the dire emergency of a black Democratic President:
The Obama administration has wrecked the economy, run up the debt to crisis levels, endangered our national security, and put our health care on the road to ruin. Now many Americans are waking up to the damage he has caused.Gosh, if all that were close to true, even I would send a check. But like most wingnut mail, this letter is designed to scare people into writing a check, even if the scary stuff is pants-on-fire lies.
On top of that is the unprecedented corruption that has been exposed throughout the Obama administration
More people are ready to hear conservative solutions. This is the time we can make a huge difference.I suppose I should send a check for a penny, and see whether that's another DeMint/Heritage lie.
Your continued support is critical to our success. So please renew your membership immediately! I hope you can send at least $25 but any amount will be welcome and will ensure your membership through 2013.
The back of the letter includes Heritage's claimed 2013 accomplishments, including their widely debunked "massive research paper" that made up $6.3 trillion as the "Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer."
Among Heritage's claimed accomplishments are the many, meticulously counted times their propaganda was picked up by the corporate media (Fox, talk radio and conservative newspapers like the Murdoch money-pit New York Post mostly):
During just the first three months of 2013, we spread the conservative message to millions of Americans through 885 radio interviews and 273 TV interviews; 257 commentaries; and countless news stories about opur research opinion, and impact on the issues.Perhaps because most of Heritage's mail goes to people on Social Security and Medicare, the letter does mention its November call for raising the eligibility ages for Social Security (again) and Medicare, and cutting the COLA increase in Social Security benefits.
Wingnut mail is incredibly important to the institutional right wing -- it raises serious money with scary letters, and allows these groups to claim that they have millions of members and therefore represent grass-roots, real Americans.
Heritage, etc., were founded by billionaires like the Kochs and the Coorses, and are largely controlled by them.
But it would be politically and financially foolish to only raise money from billionaires, and be perceived as a propaganda front for the .01 percent.
They need to raise money from lots of $25 people to be able to claim that they are the voice of real Americans who want to take their country back from the socialist/communist Democrats.
That scary BS hoodwinks too many little people, like my Mom.
And the more is known about it, the better.