Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm not completely out of the loop

I did try to vote yesterday, but somehow I'm not registered in my district. I thought I had taken care of that when I got my new driver's license last January, but apparently not. No matter. I just sensed that this particular time, things would be ok without me.

According to the papers this morning, I was right. Things are looking pretty sweet. Granted I'm a cynic, so I see all this and say, "ok, this is a step in the right direction, but we still have a lot farther to go," but I admit, it's cheery to read the paper this morning.

My accompianist called me at 11 or so this morning and launched into this amazing liberal diatribe on what we need to focus on in this country. I listened dutifully for around an hour. He's a very smart guy. It was really great to hear him so enthusiastic and upbeat about things. He comes from a family of conservatives, with plenty of bigots, so I know he needs people to talk to about this stuff. But after awhile, from my seat in the choir, I get bored with hearing the same sermons over and over. I told him he should write a book, or start a newsletter or something. He really should.

Politics is something I care a lot about, don't get me wrong, but frankly, I'm sick of listening to the rhetoric. I do my research and I think I'm pretty well informed on the issues. I vote, I accept the results, and I donate to the causes I belive in when I can. When Chimpy Rich finally gets out of our white house and takes his dad's cronies with him, I'll probably open a bottle of champagne, but I just can't focus on this stuff for too long. I always feel like people think I don't care. I do care, but I get headaches after awhile. I don't want to listen to any more screaming and shouting. Or preaching. Or "Don't you think...?" Yes, I think. Can I go now?

This guy's post today, however, almost knocked me out of my chair. Now this is something I didn't think I'd see. Fabulous.

Let's just keep reading, keep thinking positively, KEEP READING, and keep voting. And hey - for those of you who are doing the shouting, don't take it personally. I make not feel like listening, but a lot of others clearly are. Keep up the good work. The country needs you. I'll do my part, and keep voting.

I dropped off the voter registration forms in the mail today. I won't miss another opportunity.

Update:I received a very nice letter from which included this snippet of dialogue from one of those people who went calling folks and reminding them to vote yesterday:

When I called, it was late in the evening and the woman I was talking to had less than an hour to get out and vote.

I told her who I was and why I was calling and asked if she had voted yet. Long pause. She told me that she knew this was an important election, and that she had criticized others for not voting, knowing how important it was that we find a new direction.

Then she told me about her work, and taking care of her young child after work. About how the polls close so early that working moms have a very hard time voting. "Can't they allow the polls to stay open later for us to vote," she asked me. I told her, why not go down there and show the poll workers what real life is like, what being a working mother is like, and bring your child with you.

She said she'd do it. I was happy for her and for the rest of us whose country's direction lies in the hands of voters, single mothers trying to make ends meet and still exercise their power to vote.

And then I got this phone call, later tonight. She had found my caller ID and called me back. "Hi," she said, "this is the lady you talked to wanting to go vote. I was the one who was talking about my baby and it being 6:21—40 minutes til closing. I just wanted to say that I did make it, and thanks for the encouragement."

That's how we won our democracy back.

I have already railed against politicians who actually tried to telephone-solicit votes from me. If there's anything Americans hate, isn't it telephone solicitors? Why would that make me want to vote for you? Well, I guess this telephone solicitor - granted, not for any specific politician, but for the process in general - made a real difference. I'm humbled, and impressed.

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