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September 19, 2004

The Selfish Democrat

Iíve just spent the day with the Kerry organizers at an office north of here. Theyíre recruiting precinct captains for the last 45 days before the election. Itís all about getting out the vote, people, and they really need your help.

Apparently, theyíre all really hush hush about whatís going on in their offices. When I asked if I could take some pictures, they asked me a bunch of questions about who they were for. Another campaign staffer asked me if I was going to be writing about what Iím up to for anyone. They really want to keep things under wraps. This is a huge bummer for me, because you all know thereís nothing Iíd rather do than blab on and on about what I got up to during the day. Well, the second best thing to that is going to be having you there with me. So as things progress and I get more involved, Iím going to be asking you to join me. That way I wonít have to describe it to you in sanitized terms, you can experience it for yourself. You folks who arenít my neighbors, I beg you, get in touch with your local office and go sign up.

I will tell you about one thing that happened today. I met a really nice guy today - heís been volunteering for political campaigns since 1964. Heís a DBA, runs his own small business, kind of an old hippie, Iíd guess he was about 55? 60 maybe? Anyway, he told me that heíd signed up to work for the campaign because his son is serving in Afghanistan. He says he canít bear to hear the Bush administration talking about whatís torture and whatís not because, well, his son is in Afghanistan. Heís been there for nine months. ďItís personal,Ē he said to me.

Thatís the surprising thing I learned today Ė that itís okay that politics is personal. Iíve been feeling sort of funny about it being so personal. See Iíve been under this illusion that there should be a certain community minded sacrifice around being involved in politics, when Iíve been all, hey, I want this government OUT because itís really way better for ME. But for everyone who spoke at the training session I attended today, it was personal. The fact that I care deeply about US foreign policy because I have to answer for it when Iím in Europe makes me an ideal campaigner. The fact that I pay 3000 dollars a year for health insurance Ė without dental or optical coverage - and it still costs me 40 bucks to see a doctor - makes me an ideal campaigner. The fact that Iím surrounded by people I adore who canít get married makes me an ideal campaigner. For the union guy whoís lost his job, itís personal. For the woman that works at the base that canít live on her military salary, itís personal. You know what it is for you. And nowís your chance to talk about it. Your story can swing a vote that makes a difference.

So get on downtown, okay? Lots of folks are talking about their plans to head to Canada or Europe if the election doesnít go their way. But before you start packing, please do something, anything, to help take this election. Contact your local campaign office. Pick up the phone and call them, or, better yet, just go down there and talk to a human being who can sign you up to help. Donít have time? Send money to the DNC. Send money to someone you know whoís giving their time to the campaign. Call your local office and say ďIím going to Costco, you need anything?Ē Write to your local papers and tell them why this election is personal. Write to your friends and tell them to get themselves downtown to the campaign HQ. Wonít take you but 10-15 minutes.

Hereís how to get involved

1.Go to the US map on the Kerry/ Edwards website here.
2.Click on your state.
3.The Contacts box is in the top right corner. You may need to click ďContacts in Ē to get the information you need.
4.Pick up the phone and call the office. I really recommend calling or showing up in person, the campaign folks are bogged down in web input. Just go.

Thatís it. If you have trouble, let me know, Iíll help you find a contact. (Email me.) The campaign needs you. More importantly, I need you. This election is all about me. I am so tired of explaining US foreign policy to Europeans who think that we must be out of our collective minds to even consider re-electing a president who wasnít elected in the first place. And Iím tired of paying through the nose for health insurance thatís barely adequate and eats all my profits. I'm tired of hearing my friends say they're waiting for the Supreme Court to let them marry. Help me out, okay? Itís personal.

Posted by pam at September 19, 2004 07:34 PM | TrackBack
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