Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama Empowerment

Ok, well I did it. For the first time in my life I got up off my ass and actually went door-to-door for a political campaign. I met up with the Obama people at Jovita's like I said I'd do in my last post, and after a little confusion as they didn't have their act together as much as I would have hoped they would, they sent me off with a list of homes to visit and remind them to vote on Tuesday and caucus Tuesday night. And while many of them either had already voted or were planning to vote, few of them had heard of the caucus. So hopefully I did some good.

And it was really quite pleasant. I'm not sure where they got the lists from, but the only names they gave us were Obama people (lest we accidentally inform Hillary people of the caucus) and everyone seemed fairly friendly and most of them thanked us for what we were doing. We actually did go to one home with a big Hillary sign in their yard (my daughter insisted), though I didn't mention the caucus (heh heh). And one guy was a Republican who I briefly tried talking into voting against Hillary, but he didn't think that kind of thing was fair, and said he wouldn't do it. But even those two were pleasant.

Of course, I think it helped that Austin's generally a pretty cool town and I was in a neighborhood close to mine (though not nearly as cool). Plus, I was there with my daughter wearing her newly purchased Obama shirt, and I'm sure that kind of thing never hurts. And while I'm not sure if I'll do that kind of thing in the future, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it could be. Of course, they also pressured me into volunteering to help at the caucus tomorrow night, and I'm not sure what that's going to entail. But it's all worth it. It really does feel good to have played even a small part in making the process work, and that's what Obama's all about.

This really is about empowerment. Democracy can't just be about the same old people doing the same old things. This is about us and having real people play real parts in making their own lives work. That's the true purpose of democracy. Democracy doesn't guarantee that you'll pick the best leaders, and it probably won't. But it makes you feel more satisfied with the leaders you do have, and that's the whole point. This is our government and the politicians work for us. We shouldn't let anyone forget it.

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