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Some scattered thoughts after an afternoon of canvassing


This is really exhausting for an introvert like me, but it kind of helped with the low level constant anxiety/fear/stress I’ve been feeling for weeks now. I’m sure I’ll be back to my dyspeptic self tomorrow, but for now it helps.

Talked to many dozens of people, mostly but not all from a list of registered Democrats (who haven’t early-voted as of yesterday). Zero Trump supporters (indeed zero non-Clinton supporters) but then I doubt many Trump supporters would be willing to drive through West Dayton, let alone live there.

Mostly talked to older African-Americans. When I launched into the boilerplate about how this is likely to be a very close, very important election, etc etc etc, they’d often give me a raised-eyebrow look that said, very clearly, “do you really think I don’t understand what’s at stake with this election?” and we’d quickly move on to logistics–polling locations, early voting hours, etc.

White people, on the other hand, are exhausting. Only talked to handful, but they all wanted to talk about at least one of their “issues” (EMAILZ make me sad, wasn’t Bernie dreamy?, IjustdontlikeherforsomereasonIcantputmyfingeron, random 90’s references, etc) before committing to doing the sane, responsible, necessary thing. As exhausting as this was, working a white neighborhood would be probably be much more so.

The GOTV machine I was a cog in seems to be functioning at such a level that it seems unlikely very few votes getable votes on the table in West Dayton. It’s impressively efficient, well-staffed with volunteers, and well-organized.

Early voting is a BFD. In talking to busy people with complicated lives, it makes it a lot easier to make a plan to vote they can commit to. I knew this, intellectually, but it was really driven home today. Absolutely worth fighting to defend and expand.

Only a few people want to take advantage of the captive audience to talk politics, but one woman, just getting home from a double shift as I arrived to her house, was pure gold. I’m going to reconstruct my favorite part of her rant as faithfully as possible, but I’m not doing is justice–it was just a marvelous, angry, hilarious rant. The gist of it:

Look, I get it, you white people* had a hard time with Obama being president so you need a racist president. I get it. I don’t like it but I get it. But what I don’t get is why you needed a racist who is so goddamn crazy and stupid! Couldn’t you find a racist who could actually know how to run the damn government? I mean, I wouldn’t vote for him–he’d still be bad for people like me–but at least he’d know what he’s doing? What good does it do the damn white people when Trump shits the bed? It’s not like there’s some other special country they move to when he takes this country down. We get a black president and he does a pretty good job, and your response is murder-suicide? You white people need to get smarter about how you do this racism thing.

*she interjected caveats about how her use of “you white people” should not be construed to include people such as myself and Obama/Clinton supporters generally, so this didn’t come off as hostile or accusatory as the words on the page might make it appear.

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