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Here I go, getting political again… October 20, 2008

Posted by dreanotes in Personal.
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So, word of warning – those of you here just for my work side of the blog – STOP!  Do not read this post!!  If you really don’t want to hear about my political viewpoints, stop now!  I promise my non-political posts will be coming again soon!

Ah…those that stayed, thank you!  I had a very interesting experience this past Saturday, and I need to share.

For years, I’ve considered myself on the left side of left.  I’m very tied to the Democrat side in many ways – I’m very liberal and I have been told I have very liberal views.  And, I talk politics to those that I should <read..not usually to clients, acquaintances or co-workers unless asked> and I am not one those people that pushes my view on others.  I give facts -that’s all.  When asked, I tell my opinion, I listen to others’ opinions and if pushed further, I give facts – and listen to facts and that’s that.

Recently, I’ve found myself in unknown territory.  A couple of weeks ago, I made my first contribution to a political campaign EVER.  That’s right…EVER.   While I do my civic duty and I vote, I have never felt compelled enough to share either my time or my money for the purposes of politics.  It just wasn’t me.  But, in this current election, in this current environment, I am so against the other side, I felt compelled to contribute – and so I did.  I got online, and I made a contribution to the Obama-Biden campaign.  Not a big one – just $30, but a contribution nonetheless.

And then something even stranger happened.

I got a phone call on Thursday last week asking me to volunteer for the campaign.  And I did. That’s right – I volunteered.  So, also for the first time, I spent my time on Saturday going door-to-door in this hard-red, right-winged suburb I live in.  It wasn’t easy, but I did it.  And, like I said, it was an interesting experience.  Here’s what I experienced:

First..it was a beautiful day in west-central Ohio.  The sun was shining and it was a typical fall day – slight breeze, a chill in the air and a crispness that can only be experienced to be believed.  So, all in all, despite what I might be about to encounter, it was nice to be outside and experiencing the weather, if nothing else!  I met with the Obama-Biden local organizers at the High School for my district and they explained the drill and gave me my packet of names.  Let me say – I was actually quite surprised and a bit in awe at the packet – it contained a complete list of voters for a specific neighborhood – or at least, those who were registered Independents or who were Democrats who hadn’t voted Democrat in a while and a ton of data and survey information.  But, being a computer-type person myself, I could tell this was some great work in compilation here – very thorough, very up-to-date in it’s use of technology.  Score one to Obama for using technology!  I dig it!!  😉

Now, the area I was given was the typical small-town-turned-suburb in Ohio.  The houses were older and smaller, but well-kept.  The cars in the driveways were older, but well-kept.  It was the sign of a neighborhood who had seen hard times, had lived it and sometimes still lives it.  I had a lot of names but only 2 hours to give, so I enthusiastically got started.

What I came up against in those next 2 hours was mixed.  Most people were nice – even when shutting the door in my face when I mentioned I was a volunteer for the Obama campaign (those were always fun!).  I had one woman say to me she wasn’t going to vote for Obama because he didn’t like women.  That’s right…he doesn’t like women.  Hmm…”Is there something in particular you feel that pointed you to that conclusion?” I asked?  She couldn’t give me a concrete answer – just that she had heard and felt he had a dislike to women.  Interesting.  And, one nice lady actually had quite a discussion with me – asking me about the issues, talking about her concerns and wanting to know where she could find more information.  She didn’t want the pamphlets I could give her – said she didn’t want ANY literature that came from a specific candidate but wanted to find non-partisan answers for herself.  GOOD FOR YOU!, I thought!!  THAT’s exactly what America needs more of!

But, although the day was beautiful, I couldn’t finish my houses – after 2 hours walking around, my body (read, the baby inside my body) was telling me to stop.  So, with more than 25 houses contacted, I met our organizer again and gave her my results.  And then…I volunteered again! That’s right…again!  (apparently I’m a sadist or something)  I’m not sure why I felt compelled to agree to go through that again, but I did.  I feel very strongly that most of Ohio just doesn’t have the right information and if I can point people to the RIGHT information, that’s all Ohio really needs.  The facts speak for themselves, I think – and so, I’ll give my time again and maybe get another good story out of it, if nothing else.

And so, as I mentioned earlier, I find myself in unfamiliar territory.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t know – mixed, I guess.  Happy I did it.  Happy I showed my support through the most valuable thing to me – my time.  And, whether you are right or left, I encourage everyone to experience it at least once.  It’s quite an eye opener – however you wish to take it.

Oh..and now I have another first to talk about – I now have a sign for my yard.  For yup, you guessed it, the first time ever.  Seem to be a lot of firsts in my life lately.