9/12/08 04:57 pm
This afternoon I convinced a stranger to vote for Barack Obama.
On Sunday evening, I volunteered to call undecided voters in a suburb of Portland and campaign for him. I called three pages of numbers. About twelve people actually answered the phone. Most of them did not want to talk to me. One woman, from Bosnia, told me not to worry, because her and her husband would vote for him. One man barked in my ear that Obama didn't know anything about being American, and was "best friends" with a minister who "hated this country." His gleeful ignorance rattled in my brain all week, echoed by the parade of news stories, breathlessly fluffing S***h P***n. I've been disgusted and depressed all week, not just by the mainstream media and the GOP, but by how quickly so many liberals have sunken, as if already defeated, into detached cynicism. And I was very close to being one of them.
But the longest conversation I had on Sunday was with Melba. My piece of paper told me that Melba was 74, and a registered Republican. While we talked, she told me she was against abortion, very religious, and that her son has been in Iraq for several years. Her biggest question for me was about Obama and lobbyists. She was leaning towards Obama until she heard rumors that he'd reversed his position on taking money from lobbyists, and now she wasn't so sure. I answered, honestly, that I didn't know about his current position, but would be happy to find out. This afternoon, I called her back with what I'd found. Obama does not accept donations from federal lobbyists. He does accept donations from state lobbyists since he has no jurisdiction over state laws. Melba said she was very glad to hear that, and not only was she "strongly leaning towards my candidate," but she said she would "set the record straight for some of her friends who'd been spreading rumors about him."
I talked to one person. I told her what I knew and why I was voting for Obama, and it made a real impression on her. I did something really small for this election, but I can't even express what this did for my heart. Please please please donate a little time and/or money to this campaign, and urge everyone you know to do the same.
9/12/08 12:02 pm - Fact.
If you allow your police chief to charge rape victims for the cost of their rape kits, you are not a feminist. Period.http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-10-rape-exams_N.htm