The first response I get just says “Trump will win.”

As a volunteer with the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, I’m texting from a public list of registered voters in Colorado in an attempt to mobilize as many pro-climate constituents as possible. According to the NRDC, research shows that people who vote in the primaries are more likely to vote in the general election, which is when we will need a full-court press in order to defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named. Hence the NRDC’s campaign.

I use the stock response: “Sorry you feel that way. I will take you off our list.”

On some level, I understand peoples’ annoyance. I’m invading their personal space with a political message. And that message as composed for me by the NRDC is strangely chirpy: “Hi, I’m Christa, a volunteer with the NRDC Action Fund. The Super Tuesday presidential primary is coming in Colorado, and we need voters concerned about climate change to turn out and get ready to defeat Trump in November. Can we count on you to vote on March 3?”

By contrast, the responses are very direct.

“Hell no.”

“Why the fuck does everyone think I’m Trent.”

“Take me off this goddamn list.”




I opt all these people out without saying good-bye.

Twice, I receive earnest messages from people who share my concerns about the environment.

“Yes! Already voted for Buttigieg, who I think has the best plan for carbon,” said one.

Another replies with a simple “Yes, definitely! And thanks for doing this, Christa.”

Those precious few thumbs-up keep me from mixing myself a gin and tonic at 11:30 a.m., but then it’s back to the STOP STOP STOP grindstone, with only a handful of more colorful comments to break the monotony.

“I’d never vote for Bernie over Trump,” says one lady.

Sorry you feel that way. I’ll take you off our list.

“Climate change isn’t real,” says another.

Sorry you feel that way. I’ll take you off our list.

And I really am sorry you feel that way, because you challenge me not just with your opinions but with the way those opinions make me feel about you, a person I don’t actually know and with whom I’d fundamentally prefer to get along. But instead I feel such rage toward you, such shock at your idiocy, and am as embarrassed by own polarized stance as I am offended by yours.

And then I get a rather curious text.

“Yes! Will be voting for GEOTUS!”

Hey, this guy is clever, I think, to put the Earth-friendly GEO back in POTUS. I mean we’re texting Democrats, right? I decide he’s on our side.

“Fantastic,” I reply, again using the NRDC’s canned language. “If we want to defeat Trump we need to mobilize climate change voters now to make sure the next president makes tackling climate change an immediate priority.”

He texts back right away, only this time he sends a little illustrated graphic of Trump posed triumphantly atop a tank with rays of sunlight shining down from the heavens above him that makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

I quickly google GEOTUS and realize I had it so very, very wrong. That GEO part has nothing to do with Earth but instead means “God Ordained Emperor of the United States.”

I opt him out, of course, as is the protocol, but in my imagination I send him the only response I think he might understand: