It’s the holiday season and everyone is reaching out…for a hand-out. My popularity has never been so overwhelming, my inbox so overflowing! It’s exhausting, all this deleting. I attribute this to two related social ills: insincere holiday greetings (often offering “deals for the holidays”); and the “pay as you go” meter of political engagement. Sigh.

Make elections publicly funded already. Why is it that every non-profit/political party thinks my donation will solve their pet project. Really, I know that there isn’t any obvious financial influence that the average Joe/Jo can exert on a Supreme Court decision, or on the operation of the Post Office, or even on whether local county hearings will permit Open Carry observers. Yet, to read my inbox mail, you’d think that only I can solve the world’s problems, if only I’d open my wallet.

Nowhere is the insidious influence of money more obvious than in my pre-holiday email. Hurry! Give Now–to avoid the influence of the other side’s financial influence. Oh. Just. Stop.

I’m not saying that donations to causes that speak to me aren’t a good idea. But this “meter is running” political mentality is exhausting and undermining. Give me a way to participate that makes me feel actively engaged. I see half the country slipping into fascism; I want to wake the world up to the dangers. No, I don’t want to give $5 to ensure that a candidate thousands of miles away from me can get the edge over gun-toting white supremacists. That is one very slippery slope. Take money out of the equation.

It’s just past noon today, and already my inbox has 56 political pleas for funds. That does not include the straight up advertising for Holiday Gifts and Cheer. Does anyone else find the tollway of democracy depressing?