The Selfish Democrat

I’ve just spent the day with the Kerry organizers at an office north of here. They’re recruiting precinct captains for the last 45 days before the election. It’s all about getting out the vote, people, and they really need your help.

Apparently, they’re all really hush hush about what’s 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 I’m up to for anyone. They really want to keep things under wraps. This is a huge bummer for me, because you all know there’s nothing I’d 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, I’m going to be asking you to join me. That way I won’t have to describe it to you in sanitized terms, you can experience it for yourself. You folks who aren’t 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 – he’s been volunteering for political campaigns since 1964. He’s a DBA, runs his own small business, kind of an old hippie, I’d guess he was about 55? 60 maybe? Anyway, he told me that he’d signed up to work for the campaign because his son is serving in Afghanistan. He says he can’t bear to hear the Bush administration talking about what’s torture and what’s not because, well, his son is in Afghanistan. He’s been there for nine months. “It’s personal,” he said to me.

That’s the surprising thing I learned today – that it’s okay that politics is personal. I’ve been feeling sort of funny about it being so personal. See I’ve been under this illusion that there should be a certain community minded sacrifice around being involved in politics, when I’ve been all, hey, I want this government OUT because it’s 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 I’m in Europe makes me an ideal campaigner. The fact that I pay 3000 dollars a year for health insurance – without dental or optical coverage – and it still costs me 40 bucks to see a doctor – makes me an ideal campaigner. The fact that I’m surrounded by people I adore who can’t get married makes me an ideal campaigner. For the union guy who’s lost his job, it’s personal. For the woman that works at the base that can’t live on her military salary, it’s personal. You know what it is for you. And now’s 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 doesn’t 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. Don’t have time? Send money to the DNC. Send money to someone you know who’s giving their time to the campaign. Call your local office and say “I’m going to Costco, you need anything?” 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. Won’t take you but 10-15 minutes.

Here’s 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 “Contacts in ” 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.

That’s it. If you have trouble, let me know, I’ll 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 wasn’t elected in the first place. And I’m tired of paying through the nose for health insurance that’s 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? It’s personal.