Thursday, September 11, 2008


About a week ago I realized that if Obama lost this election and I had done nothing more than make a few donations, I would not be able to live with myself. I find it hard to go to people's doors uninvited, but last night I started talking to voters in my neighborhood and tomorrow I'm working on the desk at Obama headquarters in Medford, Oregon. I don't suggest this is the answer for everyone, but I could feel that it was something I must do.

A second thing I realized is that I need to work to change the feelings of fear and hatred regarding people who think/feel differently from me. In my case this would be Republicans. Doing that is harder, for me, than knocking on doors. It's a challenge to put the anger I feel over the Iraq invasion, etc., into a form more useful than blame. I have the sense that "feuding" somehow feeds our collective spiral downward, but it is a constant struggle not to give way to invective, name calling, and simple wailing. Well, the wailing is probably okay. It’s not a projection. It’s sorrow. Sorrow over loss of freedoms, loss of lives, loss of world stature is warranted. It’s the way we remain human when faced with monumental loss.

On This American Life recently there is an interview with a young man who returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with PTSD and much fear and hatred of all things Muslim. What did he do? He joined a Muslim student group at his community college. It is a terrific interview. It’s called The Devil In Me. You can find it here.

This veteran was able to deal with his feelings and beliefs only after the heat of battle. I currently am in that battle for the election of the next president. So off I go to score points for Obama, with good will to all as often as I am able. Wish me luck.