Arts & Entertainment
Hope to the west
Originally printed 11/12/04 (Issue 1246 - Between The Lines News)
I can't quite shake off all this bitterness. The Presidency, the Supreme Court, the House, the gay marriage ban. The ramifications of this election will live long after the four year term is up.
But I wanted to tell you about Milwaukee. This is my Democratic cheerleader side speaking (I didn't know I had one). I worked with the College Democrats all year, and went to Wisconsin Saturday morning until Tuesday night to work for the Kerry campaign. And honestly, I am hopeful. Not for a Kerry presidency. We are past that. But for change in this country to happen. Thousands of people showed up from around the country to help with polls in Wisconsin. The leadership and organization was outstanding. The people I worked with believe in what they are doing so sincerely and so passionately. That says something. People seeking change really are mobilizing, and coming together to make that happen. I hope that this election only encourages people to continue working, and pushes those who didn't to hop on board. We were so close.
I talked to hundreds of people in Wisconsin, and a good portion of people were undecided. 800 volunteers went knocking on doors with me on the south side of Milwaukee in pouring rain and 20-degree weather. I believe I convinced some people to vote for John Kerry - I am certain I made people think. The change we need in this country is happening right now - it just is going to take even more work. All the co-workers and friends and family you talked to about the war, policies, gay rights, taxes, etc. That was not all for nothing. It is a start.
For the first time in my life, I have hope for this country. I am very scared what another Bush presidency will bring us, but I know that people will continue to fight back. So, the moral of my letter is please, please, please don't let up, and never give up. At the risk of sounding preachy: go sign up to work for your state Democratic party, or local activist groups. In Milwaukee the vote was extremely close. I have no doubt that the campaign there had a huge influence.
Just remember: Democracy isn't something you only do every four years.