...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Knock knock! Trick or Vote!

Trick or Vote was fun and inspiring. Matt (the president of LC4Kerry) and I led a team of seven canvassers (aside from us, there were two other LC students, two girls from Mt. Hood Community College, and three middle-aged men) around downtown south west Portland. We had a walk list of about seven apartment buildings, so we split into three groups of three, divvied up the list, and got going. Rock the Vote! Wooooo!!!

The two men I was canvassing with were about my dad's age; one was a professional cellist and the other was a construction safety worker. I think one of my favorite things about being so (relatively) involved in this campaign has been meeting new people, from all different backgrounds, with all different stories--all united for a common purpose, corny as that may sound. Although we were kicked out of every apartment building we entered (luckily, it was always after we had or had almost finished canvassing the building), and about 85% of the people on our lists weren't home, when we were able to make contact with someone it was a genuine, beautiful moment of human connection. One elderly man laughed when I told him about Trick or Vote, then told me that he was so glad to see young people being politically active. One thirtysomething woman with a toddler told us that she mailed in her ballot the very first day she was able, so important to her was it to exercise her right to vote. And then, at the very last apartment in the very last building that Matt and I canvassed together, an elderly woman answered the door, and when we asked her if she had turned in her ballot, she got teary and started talking about how important the election is--the most important of her life, she said--and how hopeless she feels when she reads the newspapers and sees the direction the country is going. She hugged us and told Matt and me that we gave her hope. That, right there, made up for all of the grouches and the getting kicked out of buildings and the frustration.

No matter what happens on Tuesday evening (and in the ensuing weeks, as the outcome is debated and challenged in the courts), I'm going to try to remember that woman. If Bush does win, I'll be mad, and frustrated, and I will probably (and by probably, I mean "definitely") cry, but it won't mean that Matt and I and all the people coming together to fight for change have failed. That energy will still be out there. We'll just have to wait another four years, and do it again.

That being said, today's electoral vote predictions have Kerry at 283 and Bush at 246. I really, really hope that it stays that way!!