Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Four Years Ago

First, this blog is coming up on its 5th Birthday next year. Can you believe that? I've had a longer relationship with it than with my husband. Moving on. . . . .

These days, my mind is squarely in the past, looking at the future, if that makes sense. Thanks to the blog, I know what I was doing and thinking and feeling four years ago. I'm surprised, when rereading the old election posts, that I recall so much more than what's on the screen. I can read my own code. I know my own references. The me of now is grateful to the me of then for making such a record.

It's hard not being in WV or PA. I know if I jet there tomorrow, however, the people will be mostly different. I have no idea who is in PA. There are some I'd go to join and some I'd stay home to avoid. I know WV is in good hands. That's where I'd like to be.

To navel gaze a moment: yesterday I felt off. Funks happen, of course. This was typical election year "I should be doing more"-itis. Citing our new mortgage as an excuse for being less active seems selfish and shallow and makes me hate the house and myself.

So I phone banked. I almost didn't go. I though I'd just go home and get some rest or clean the hated-house. But I phone banked. And I felt immediately better.

I don't love phone banking. I love it more than walking precincts. But no, it's no one's favorite activity. Lit drop, okay. Assemble yard signs, sure. But that voter contact - the single most effective campaign tactic - it's tough sometimes. It's just so important.

Last night, my calls were to the 209 area code. That's inland. Modesto, Stockton, up to Calavaras County. Miners. Truckers. Agriculture. It's not the coast. I wasn't sure the kind of reception I'd receive there - and I'm not talking about cellular technology.

But the results were heartening. I spoke with one man who, when I asked how he was voting on Proposition 8, asked me how I was voting. I told him no. He asked if I am gay. I said no, I'm not, and I'm also married. He asked my age. I told him 29. And we talked about generational divides and fear of new things and time moving on. He's still undecided, but his daughters, both in college, are voting No.

Another man said he was voting yes, that it was "the only way to vote." I thanked him for his time and he continued his thought by saying "if you want your freedom."

I have no idea what that means.

But there were many more Noes than Yeses. One woman said she didn't much care about what other people did or who they married and that I probably wouldn't like that answer. I said no, I agreed with her. And that many people agree with her and it's what leads them to vote No on 8. It's the more libertarian view, I suppose. I don't care who you are and who you marry because I'm far too busy paying attention to my own marriage. She said she'd vote No as well.

I dialed the phone 81 times last night. I spoke with about 10 people. Only 4 were voting yes. More were voting No. Some had already voted No by mail.

It makes a difference - reaching out to people. Organizing. Finding volunteers. Working.

There are only a few days left. Do something.

1 comment:

Ms. Hazelstein said...

I loved your posts four years ago. They are what sent me out on the trail for Hillary! I'm motivated by your current post. It made me want to phone for No on 8 this weekend until I realized I will already be in Oregon working on the Senate race up there. Like you, I am so glad to have the opportunity to do something. We are so fortunate to get to participate in this historic election. Enjoy your week. I can't wait to dork out Tuesday night.