Don't Knock Me Down
More often than not, I feel like an inexperienced child approaching the front door, dressed in my first Halloween costume (probably dad's navy uniform unearthed from the hall closet.) I’m both exhilarated and exceedingly agitated (what else is new?) Knocking on doors for the Dems can pester my good will to the point of anxiously sneaking bits of damp chocolate from my fanny pack (yes, so attractive and fashionable!) I gobble and pick at my teeth between random conversations about voting in the mid-term elections and why it’s IMPERATIVE the voter agrees to do so.
From the young guy mumbling over his bowl of soba noodles, admitting his inability to educate himself to a woman of a certain age (like me!) who’s flabbergasted with her exceedingly conservative co-worker, and many doors unanswered, I meander the neighborhood walking the talk.
Hiding away in a furnished rented apartment or functional home-office on Election Day doesn’t do our community ANY GOOD! I know folks don’t always believe these “random” election days make any difference but they SO DO!!! When things can easily go sideways in our neighborhood, community, county, state, region, and country as a whole....it isn't a game we want to surrender. We've only one probable strategy - to be in communication with folks, one-on-one, to allow them to relate to the murmur in their subconscious, lost in the translation of day-to-day life. Once uncovered, we can tackle the best practice to fertilize it or toss it out the window and begin again.
One voter told me about his youngest son, holding his own at a dinner party with an adult male who thought differently. They talked politics for half an hour while the rest of the group listened-in. He was very proud of his precocious child, not feeling the need to step-in and translate. The father claimed the family talks politics "non-stop" as it's an important part of their education. Rock on with your Bad Dad Self!
We can hardly be complacent, mute, ignorant, and helpless in this stage of the game. Figuring out, not only what we believe, but aligning with those officials who are on-board with what we WANT and need on a grassroots level.
I strongly urged each willing participant to TALK with their family members, friends, colleagues, people standing in line wherever (ok, maybe the community table at the local eatery isn’t the BEST place for an abortion chat (my bad!)) We can’t sort out the basic premise of our beliefs unless we’re willing to dig around, work out the kinks, and get as much information as possible to make an informed decision.
Watching FOX news isn’t my thing but if it’s yours…try changing the station to another viewpoint and see if that might resonate. There are so many options now, why stick with the same old newscasters?
Here are some suggestions for our voters:
Find a website (like League of Women Voters or ACLU) that covers the local election candidates and read through their stance.
Look into how the incumbents VOTED IN THE PAST and not be fooled by their promises.
Talk with people you know (not just the ones you think you trust and seem educated about the issues, although they’re an excellent resource.)
Decide for your BADASS SELF what you think and believe and what candidate(s) agree.
You can VOTE EARLY by absentee ballot if you’re uncertain whether you’ll be around or not (plus this gives you the benefit of taking your sweet time and searching for stuff online.)
Volunteer to call, canvass, design, print, leaflet, and stuff envelopes.
It’s great to go door-to-door so as to collect more stories to share, ask about someone’s experiences and opinions. I like creating a safe space to talk. I share, they share, I ask a question, they share, I share, they share, like that!
A woman, who initially seemed reluctant to answer the door, spoke with me for 23 minutes about her stance on gun control. They have guns, kept in a locked cabinet, take gun safety classes, and are "responsible" owners. "It's the crazy people who will get the guns no mater what the laws are." Seems to me, I reply, that it coincides with the Healthcare issues. I went on to explain...if people could afford to get seen by a physician often, maybe mental health considerations would be addressed. If the patient battles depression and isolation, that might come to the surface and be dealt with? And then there's poverty, livable wages, Immigration/Refugee populations, that all juxtapose within that same scope. Everything merges into the pie. I could see her wheels turning. Maybe she has a conversation with her hubby, the gun owner, and the rest of the family, generating a new light around the challenges in our culture...then again, perhaps she keeps her mouth shut....I keep a spotlight on the former!
Of course, it doesn’t always go as smoothly as the conversation in your head but that makes it challenging and stimulating….sorta.
Take action, be brave, talk it out, do a dance ('cause dancing always makes things a bit brighter!) If you'd like to canvas...I'm more than happy to set you up!