Saturday, October 02, 2010


I spent the morning walking around a neighborhood in Bothell, Washington, ringing the doorbells of strangers and talking to them, when they answered, about a couple of politicians that my professional union, the American Federation of Teachers, supports in next month’s elections for positions in the state legislature. I found it to be a somewhat rewarding, but also kind of embarrassing and even a little bit scary of an experience; the good news is nobody called the cops on me, and even better, I got one guy to agree to put up a sign up in his yard, but for the most part, most people played it pretty close to the vest, accepting the campaign literature I handed out but refraining from saying much about which way they intended to vote.

One thing’s for certain: no way I’d want to be a politician myself; you’ve got to listen to everyone and accommodate all the perspectives of all your prospective supporters. I spent a good twenty minutes, for instance, listening to this one old guy talk about how he’d grown up in the area and how Bothell is no longer the community it once was—sort of interesting, sure, but after 10 minutes or so, I kept thinking how was I going to extricate myself from the conversation and get on with my canvassing; if I were trying to earn this fellow’s vote, though, I think I’d probably have to have stayed until he completely had his say; I might still be there!

If I were a better person, I’d have stuck with it longer than I did; as it was, a couple hours was plenty; it’s one of those things that you’re glad to have done, but I don’t see myself making a regular practice of it; I’m hoping that my efforts, lame as they were, go some small way towards helping our candidates prevail; if not, at least I got a pastry at the campaign office.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

I got mildly yelled at by a Democratic canvasser on Sunday afternoon. I was coming home from a walk, and the guy called my cell phone & asked if I would vote for the Democrats for Senate and Governor. He stressed that he was calling from my neighborhood, and asked if I would volunteer here, too. I said I'd rather go out in a less heavily democratic neighborhood; I canvassed in 2004 and everyone was already voting Democrat. "That thinking is flawed", he replied, forcefully, "We have to get everyone out this time." I said I was getting plenty of emails asking me to volunteer, and if I felt like I had the time, I'd say yes.

12:31 PM  

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