Nov 02

My Vote, My Voice


I voted by dropping off my ballot at Newburyport City Hall on Oct. 20. It was reported as accepted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Oct. 22. Such is 2020 that I both did AND know these things.

I’m writing today for a couple of reasons:

  1. To get on the record prior to tomorrow (and whatever follows) why I voted how I did.
  2. To share my thoughts for anyone out there who’s still undecided about any of the races on their ballots.

While anyone following me likely knows my personal political leanings, I’ll say that — aside from the vehemence with which I hold some of these opinions — the people on the ballot mattered to me less than ever. That’s because, to me, our choice between belief systems and values is as stark as it’s been in my lifetime.

We often hear that “X election is the most important of our lives.” Usually that’s part of a get-out-the-vote drive by one party or another, one candidate or another. You (and I) take it with a grain of salt.

This time, though, I must concur. Our country is at a precipice, and while tomorrow’s results are unlikely to provide the final determination, they will push us in one of two distinct directions: A) pull us back from that edge for the time being — giving us an opportunity to reset and — perhaps — make necessary change; or B) nudge us further off balance on the edge of a cliff from which a fall may be fatal.

I don’t ask you to agree with all (or any) of my opinions. I merely hope you’ll read and consider them. Here’s to our votes. Here’s to our voices.

I voted for kindness and understanding.

I voted against hatred and willful ignorance.

I voted for compassion for and responsibility to our fellow citizens: patriotism.

I voted against indifference and lack of accountability to society: selfishness.

I voted for democracy.

I voted against authoritarianism.

I voted for equality and tolerance.

I voted against racism, sexism, and homophobia.

I voted for lifting the voices of those who’ve been voiceless for centuries.

I voted against the idea that the demands of those voices should be shrugged off with bogus equivocation — or worse.

I voted for the not-at-all-hard-to-understand idea that Black Lives Matter.

I voted against the idea that folks don’t understand exactly what that phrase means after growing up in this country.

I voted for celebrating both our similarities and our differences in service of becoming more thoughtful and understanding.

I voted against the tired phrase, “I don’t see color,” another equivocation used most by those descended from the people who created, codified, and enforced laws based solely on their perceptions of skin color.

I voted for women’s control of their own bodies and their own destinies.

I voted against the hegemony of toxic masculinity.

I voted for public oversight of law enforcement.

I voted against the militarization of law enforcement.

I voted for reallocating a not-insignificant percentage of the money spent on law enforcement and the military to resources that will better serve and improve our society.

I voted against the phrase “law and order” as a blatantly racist trope designed to make people feel better about their prejudices.

I voted for education as a crucial tool in turning ignorance to enlightenment.

I voted against the continuing destruction of our system of public education.

I voted for a government free of religion and the citizenry’s freedom from religion as legal directive — the initial idea behind its mention in the First Amendment.

I voted against any and all religions having sway over the laws enacted by and applied against any segment of our citizenry.

I voted for the work of journalists to hold those in power to account.

I voted against the phrase “fake news” and the demonization of the fourth estate.

I voted for belief in science and expertise.

I voted against belief in conspiracy theories.

I voted for minor inconvenience over illness and death.

I voted against the idea that being asked to wear a mask in service to public safety for a couple hours a week is akin to “slavery,” “authoritarianism,” or other inanities.

I voted for my business, which will only thrive again if science and public health come first.

I voted against sacrificing one more life in supposed service to the economy.

I voted for public elections and the rights of every citizen to take part.

I voted against voter suppression and voter intimidation.

I voted for immediate action on the existential issue of climate change.

I voted against the powers that continue to avoid facing this challenge — and appear ready to delay — until it’s too late.

I voted for an opportunity to return some semblance of truth and sanity to power.

I voted against lying, narcissism, and lunacy.

I voted for reality.

I voted against disinformation.

I voted for a 21st century America devoted to all the things I wrote of above.

I voted against a return to the mythical “good old days.”

I voted for peace.

I voted against violence.

I voted for my wife, my son, my family, my future … your future.

Sep 24

Response September: Telebrands at 30, I.Predictus at 1, and the State of the Industry

RES0913_CV1The September issue of Response has been available online since Friday. Hopefully, if you’re one of our readers, you’ve taken a look at it, but — if not — here’s some back story on the cover feature on TELEBrands and AJ Khubani, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • September’s cover feature on TELEBrands takes an inside look at the direct response and retail giant that’s celebrating 30 years in business in 2013. In June, I sat down for a breakfast interview in New York with Khubani, who spoke eloquently and at length about the past, present and future of the business. His expertise and experience are unparalleled, as his company has helped drive the “As Seen On TV” category into a retail giant. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: It Was 30 Years Ago Today …
  • Every September, we bring you our annual State of the Industry Report feature, where we query the esteemed Response Advisory Board regarding what’s happening right now — and what’s to come — across the direct, digital and data-driven marketplace. We’ve been fortunate, in recent years, to take advantage of technology to overcome the space limitations in print media by using our website to publish the full and unabridged answers of our contributors. So, even if you’ve already read the print version, I’d urge you to click on the following link now to get the rest of the story: 18th Annual State of the Industry Report
  • For the first time since our May issue, the DRMA Spotlight is back! This month, the spotlight falls on Direct Response Marketing Alliance member I.Predictus, a technology company looking to revolutionize the media buying business with high-end algorithms that could maximize the measurability of direct response media. I sat with the company’s founder, Monica C. Smith (who also founded Marketsmith, another well-known company in the DR space), in San Diego in August to hear more about I.Predictus’ technology and Smith’s vision. If you missed the link above to the written feature, click here: I.Predictus Takes the Gamble out of Media. If you’d like to watch the video interview with Smith, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — I.Predictus
  • There was more tough news in our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results. Taking a look at DR radio’s 1Q 2013 billings results, a $2.1 million loss (15.9 percent) from the same quarter a year prior continued the troubled story started by 1Q DRTV results. The $11.2 million total was the second-lowest result in a first quarter since 2005. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 1Q 2013 DR Radio Media Billings Fade by $2.1M
  • My Editor’s Note makes a link between the voting for the DRMA Marketer of the Year (the winner of which will be revealed on Sept. 25 in Las Vegas) and the voting that also has a major hand in deciding the champion of one of my favorite sports, college football. See for yourself if I drew a clear enough parallel before joining about 900 of your closest friends at Vanity at the Hard Rock in Vegas tomorrow night! Here’s the link: All Polls Are Not Created Equal!

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!