Sunday, November 2, 2008

Follow The Yellow Brick Road...Oh My!

We're off to see the Wizard! Follow these bricks of reason: Obama lead + Talk about a past with Bill Ayers = Barack Obama hangs out with Osama bin Laden (the only terrorist many people know of, so it's an easy jump from the word terrorist in a sentence to Osama bin Laden) Obama lead + TV ads in New Mexico showing Jeremiah Wright damning America + Retired men hanging out at Walmart for coffee every morning = Barack Obama hates white people Barack + Obama + Non-white skin = Weird name/Muslim/not a US citizen Sarah Palin + Questionable clothing expenditures = Attacks on a candidate because she is a woman This is a mile or two of the yellow brick road we've wandered from door to door today in the low income, racially diverse neighborhoods of Clovis, NM. We end the day with a gnawing worry that the road leads to a wizard who's standing behind a blustery facade of smoke and noise and electoral power induced by fear. House after house we've said, "Yes, that would frighten me too, if it were true." Thankfully, in all cases, people have patiently heard us out: You will continue to be encouraged to be afraid by John McCain's TV ads. And you will continue to hear Barack Obama talk about solutions to the real fears we face: accessible health care, war, cost of living, the rich continuing to grow richer on the backs of the poor. Folks begin to nod, and nearly always agree...it's time for change. We have discovered in these doorstep chats why smears and fears work so well. If you can boil an important election down to one emotional issue, you can compel an otherwise wary/weary voter to the polls. As one woman told my husband today, while she apologized to him for having no plans to vote Tuesday: "I'm a single mom. I work hard. I'm too busy to be informed on the issues. So, I don't vote." I have said it before...thanks for bearing with me as I say it again: We who have resources: time, money, education, status, secure(ish) incomes, supportive communities, intellectually challenging friends...we are the ones who stand up and speak for those in this land of justice for all who feel disempowered. We'll be doing that Tuesday. Which is the day after tomorrow, by the way. Yikes. Suddenly, there is so much to be done! Get out the vote, my friends. Don't assume anyone you know is actually going to the polls unless you ask them to go. I've told my own sons they can't come home for the holidays this year if they don't vote. I think they believe I mean it. I'm also considering threatening a chihuahua attack. Those little dogs would make great campaign canvassers. They apparently think they're invincible, they chase you like they're five times bigger than you are, and they are absolutely irrepressible. One of 'em got me today... ouch. The dog of a McCain supporter, too. Double ouch. Peace.

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