One person can’t change the world.
But she can try.
Like most other Americans, this election cycle has me both baffled and horrified. My children have asked me if it’s like this every election season. I really have tried to explain but I don’t think I succeeded. I don’t even really understand myself how we got here.
These past few months I’ve kept quiet while listening to every conspiracy theory and scandal that’s been reported on. I have read Facebook posts from friends on both sides of the political aisles while keeping my political views off social media. Never talk politics or religion right?
Except, there’s too much at stake not to talk about it this year.
But what can I do? I’m just a single mom working to pay her girls’ dance tuition and get her boys to soccer on time. I’m no political expert. I’m just a teeny tiny blue dot in the middle of a very red state.
Then I saw a post from a respected friend who was working the call banks for my candidate. Hey, I can use a phone. And I can spare an hour or two over the weekend.
Sign me up!
At my assigned time I logged in to my previously set up online account. My first call was Susan, a 39-year-old woman in Iowa.
But the call went straight to voice mail.
As did the next 12 calls I made.
Maybe I’m not meant to be a political operative.
But then, call number 14 was to Ophelia, a 72-year-old woman in Virginia. Dear sweet Ophelia. Not only did she answer the phone, but also she was excited to tell me she was supporting Hillary Clinton.
In fact, she told me not only was she voting for Clinton, she was driving all her lady friends to the polls so they could vote for the first woman president too!
Of the more than 100 calls I made, only one caller was rude. No problem, I simply followed the script and politely thanked her for her time and ended the call.
I also spoke with:
• Diane: a 47-year-old woman who wasn’t sure where her polling place was. I was able to give her the exact address of her assigned polling area
• Rachelle: 27 years old who didn’t know the polls opened as early as 6am. She has plans to go cast her vote before her shift at works starts
• Eileen: 34 years old, who although I interrupted her dinner, thanked me for working for the cause and dedicating my time to making calls
As I was making the calls from the comfort of my couch my kids got involved too. They’d ask whom I was calling next and listen as I read through the script with each person. After our call they’d say, “Congratulations mom, you got one more person to vote!”
Did my calls make a difference? I’m pretty sure they did to the people I talked to.
Will my calls to swing states help Hillary Clinton win the election?
I don’t know.
But I do know I didn’t just sit back and complain about the political process. I didn’t sit this election out feeling like the country was already defeated. If my candidate loses it won’t have been for lack of effort.
And if she wins, then it was my pleasure to serve Madame President.
It isn’t too late to let your voice be heard, and to help others let theirs be heard. Get out and vote!
Bonus, from Elephant editor Waylon Lewis:
All this homophobia and xenophobia etc etc is bringing all the pus and inflammation and disease out to the fore—now it’s our job to expose it for what it is. This could be the dying gasp of the old white men who make Fox the most popular thing there is. Young white men and college educated whites are far more progressive.
From a Buddhist pov, bad news isn’t bad news: bad news is exposing what’s already there, and now we can talk and connect. Stop blocking Trump fans on FB, start talking to them with respect, without hatred, and educate, educate, educate–without being condescending or fearful. Many of them are good, good people, and many of “us” are just as hate-filled and self-justifying in our hate. We just hate and fear different things.
Finally, that said, right on: we are only days away from possibly electing a fear-mongerer who would destroy democracy, our environment, our social fabric…he must be stopped and re-exposed for the two-bit tyrant that he is.
Share your message on elephant–where you may reach thousands upon thousands of folks. I put up a blog about this kind of thing yesterday that’s reached 30K and counting. Support independent media, not just Zuckerberg. ~ ed.
Author: Jennifer Williams-Fields
Images: @elephantjournal on Instagram
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren