As the US Presidential primaries wind their way through the country, I hear from people who are shocked and dismayed over the obnoxious volume of automated phone calls they receive leading up to their state’s primary. These automated calls, called “robo calls,” are universally viewed as annoying by virtually everyone.
Some people are dismayed over the candidates’ arrogant audacity of perpetuating such irritating interruptions. Each successive phone call merely heightens their ire and further diminishes their dwindling respect for the politician being promoted.
Others assume that the calls are in violation of Federal “Do Not Call” (DNC) law, which allow consumers to have their phone number removed from consideration by those making unsolicited phone calls. Calling a number on the DNC list is illegal and subject to sizable fines — in most cases. One notable exception is political calling. Apparently our elected officials saw the value in telemarketing calls, thereby carving out a neat exemption for themselves, while summarily prohibiting everyone one else from likewise benefiting. Incidentally, the Federal DNC law was enacted in response to voter outrage. Our elected officials felt the pain of their constituents and effectively stopped outbound calling — except in areas that would cause them, the politicians, pain.
Leading up to the early primaries, I heard a persuasive discourse by one politician as to why political calls are excluded from the DNC legislation. His eloquent explanation essentially boiled down to this: “what we have to say is more important then everyone else, therefore our free-speech should not be restricted.”
Robo calling stinks — and so do the politicians who make them.