Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kinetic Energy

Have some hope going on here. As you know I've been floundering around about what to do to influence the election. I'd like Obama to win and props 8 & 4 to go the way of the dodo. There's some other stuff in there but I don't care about it as strongly. I finally signed into mybarackobama.com and found a local event. It was just a mile or two up the road and after work so I signed up and went over.

First, the house was huge. Great props to the homeowner for opening it up to the rank and file. It has a little wear and tear built up since its 70s or 80s installation but that goes with the country decor. The living room is larger by far than any place I lived in Boston. The dining room table was an antique rustic affair that is larger than some kitchens I've had. And every inch of it was filled with pumpkins, bats, and volunteers working on behalf of Barack Obama. It did my heart good to see it. I imagine that you all who have helped out yourself more directly in the election have had the same sort of jaw dropping experience. But I've literally never seen anything like it and this was just one site.

I think Barack Obama is committed to pushing through until the finish line is crossed and is asking the volunteers to do the same. It's only smart. He may be a change from the current broken and divisive people and policies; he may be well spoken and inspriational; he may be running against a guy who isn't well liked by his party and didn't pick a qualified running mate. But he is a black man in America who has seen the last two elections slip past the democrats due to various things and schemes, but largely because no one at the top commanded excitement that got people out to advocate on their behalf, let alone vote. Yes, we're all thinking the stakes have never been higher this year which helps the momentum. But having the leadership on top of it is gratifying. Obama knows that potential energy is no good unless it's tranformed into action. This campaign has more action than I've ever seen.

And the excitement is electrifying. I was calling tonight to sign people up to phone bank this weekend. Now I used to get 8-9 calls a day, or more, from telemarketers. I got to the point where unless I knew it was my dad calling, I stopped answering my home phone. It's one reason why I don't have a landline and fear the stoppage of charging by the minute on cell plans. (On one hand, an all you can call plan is great, on the other, it opens up the possibilities for pollsters and telemarketing.) Given that the rest of the world is still subject to the telemarketing juggernaut, I couldn't believe the positive response I got.

I don't know where the names phone numbers came from, but I had roughly 2 dozen names. About half weren't home or didn't have a phone number listed. Of the other half, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I called was HAPPY TO TALK TO ME. Even given that we are calling the base, I sometimes don't get enthusiasm like that from friends. One lady I called had already been called that evening; I was her 3rd call and she was still happy to talk to me. "It's very important. I don't mind. I'll see you sunday." The first guy I got ahold of said, "I'M SO GLAD YOU CALLED ME!!!" [emphasis his] Two people said they might make it but would probably be calling for "No on Prop 8" and I told them to keep up the good work. One lady said her daughter, whose name we had, had already absentee voted for Obama since she was off at college, but she would come help this weekend. All in all, I got 4 solid signups and 4 "I'm already calling for my local groups", and another 4 "let me check my schedules". Even if that last category is actually "go away" it was still very affirming.

I have no illusions that things will continue to be so affirming but who knows? I think I'm going to try to do something for either Obama or Prop 8 every day for the rest of the week. Because it matters so very much to me that our country return to a state of hope. And tonight I could see that even in my red-dot of a town in a blue state that the energy is flowing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the positive election mojo, I can't seem to leave the TV and internet alone and I need to counterbalance all the negative energy from the right