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.


lilalia said...

Well, good for you! It is so exciting to see how your resolve turned into action. I know I am not American and I don't live in the States, but the feeling outside of America is that it just isn't America that can't survive another four years of Republican leadership, but also the other countries. If Bush should one thing during his reign, it is how vulnerable we all are when America does not lead in diplomacy and power. So, from someone far away, thank you for going and knocking on doors for Obama.

Dorothy said...

Thanks for being so honest how you feel..
I love that we can have different beliefs and still be in harmony with friendships.

Great article.

Dorothy from grammology

Rain Trueax said...

Good for you and I feel the same way. We have to do all we can do. We might still lose but at least we have put our all into it. I also don't like the idea of going around the neighborhood. It's hard to step out that way and congratulations on doing it

Lydia said...

Your post was an important one for me to read. By this time last election I was working two days a week at Kerry headquarters and my husband and I walked the neighborhoods. A local attorney had rented a building in our town and set up the campaign headquarters, something he hasn't done this time around. So I have to get in touch with the Salem office. I'm really good on the phone (funny because I don't like talking on the phone socially), not so good on someone's porch. But I'll do both. I've know I need to kick myself into gear and your words helped.

"In my case this would be Republicans." Me too and add to that "...and Evangelicals." I've started reading two blogs by people of those persuasions, engaging in comments, etc. It is so difficult, and I can tell that my showing up has shaken up the status quo of nastiness they were safely wallowing in. Oh my, I do hate to see Rain say that we might still lose...We had it all going for us and this Palin thing has been a huge shock. It just can't turn out their way, not again, not with her on the ticket. I've also found it interesting to read overseas blogs. Europeans are terrified that Americans will elect McCain-Palin. I can detect a billowing hatred for us that will spew out if Obama doesn't win the White House.
I've been too wordy. Need sleep.

Anonymous said...

When Kerry was running I worked to sign up voters, very out of character for me. One year I signed up to make phone calls but that was a disaster. I'm practically phone phobic. This year all I've done so far is write a commentary that I hope will be published in the Roanoke paper. But I'm open to doing more. And I agree with what you said about not feeling anger and polarizing. I've been working on not freaking out with fear at what McCain/Palin could mean.

Anonymous said...

We need more people with your passion. I'm looking for ways I can help too. And thanks for the Devil in Me prompt. I'm listening to it even as I write this.

TropiGal said...

I admire what you are doing. Good post.

kokopelliwoman said...

Very positive action to counterbalance your anger and fear.

Judith Shapiro said...

Thanks for your candor. I am surprised at my own internal response to those who could possibly support McCain. Add Palin to that I'm breathless with astonishment. And lots of other more negative, angry, hatred-laced feelings. Not my usual mode; no comfort in it; not proud.

And thanks for the Devil clip!