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People Who Aren’t Crazy

09/30/2009

So I’ve now been a part-time field canvasser for the Democratic Party of Georgia for just over a week.  I wish it paid enough to live on, but I’m happy to be doing something that I believe is for the greater good until I can find something better.  And to this point, just about every time I’ve gone out I’ve met at least one borderline crazy person.  It’s comforting to know that the crazed aren’t few and far between; they’re contained in a random daily sampling of the citizenry.

There was one guy, for example, who was sitting on a lawn chair in the carport of his somewhat unkempt house.  He was smoking.  His skin was like leather, he had a raspy voice and a buzzcut, and although he was cordial he was also three-quarters off the curb, so to speak.  He told me he was a “goddamned radical” when he was my age, and had volunteered for the Barry Goldwater campaign.  I was instantly caught in a swirling vortex of his incoherent rhetoric, and incoherent is a kind term.  I knew I was wasting my time, and had both feet pointed back toward the street as I tried to inch my way back towards reality.  Nice guy, though.  I liked the way his eyes periodically rolled back into his head while he was talking.

And then yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to (not with) two older guys, sitting in front of a much nicer house, having an adult-style beverage. One of them (as misfortune would have it, the quiet one) was probably a Democrat, and was the next door neighbor.  I didn’t get to talk to him.  But his friend, the homeowner, wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise as he pontificated on the corruption of politicians (thanks for enlightening me) and how they’re all the same and don’t care about anyone but themselves, etc.  I was thankfully able to keep this interaction very brief, but it just goes to show you how many old white guys there are, sitting in their yard drinking and smoking, looking for a chance to tell anyone who’ll listen how they know everything about everything.  And I didn’t even mention the fella last week who went on a bout the Lester Maddox and the Illuminati and how “the Jews” control the banking system.  I will give the crazy folks this once concession: they’ve been polite.  Ridiculous, but polite.

But I don’t dwell on the nutjobs.  I dwell on the people who inspire me.  The old Southern lady last week who “has everything but money.”  She gave me the six dollars she had in her purse, but she also gave me the quote of the year: “It’s time for that tall, skinny black feller to roll up his sleeves and start punchin’!”  From her mouth to Obama’s ears.  Or the unemployed woman who has no money to contribute, but is going to come to the office today to volunteer.  Or the physician I met yesterday who, despite being on disability due to a brain tumor that has left him without a piece of his skull, found it in his heart to give fifty dollars he doesn’t really have.  These are the people I dwell on.  These are the people I’m really out walking for.  These are the people who make me think “we better not screw this up.”

So if you have something you care about, let these people inspire you to give a little of your time and money to make it happen!  If healthcare is important to you, then call the lawmakers who are keeping it from happening.  Volunteer at an OFA phonebank (there’s one Sunday, two shifts, at the Party HQ at 12th and Spring if you’re in Atlanta) to get other people motivated and active!  If you’re tired of living in a reddish-purple state, then let’s make it blue!  Contribute $100 or $200 to the Democratic Party of Georgia!  We wouldn’t be asking if we didn’t need it.  We can change the complexion of this State, the whole State, but not without support!  We may have registered over 500,000 voters last year and turned 16 counties blue in the Presidential election, but we have a lot of work ahead of us, and Republicans outspend us 6 to 1.  So do what you can!  Use your voice!  Volunteer!

Do something that makes us all better.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tracey O'Brien permalink
    10/16/2009 10:50 pm

    I love your crazies. I love the work you do for our Democratic cause. I love hearing all about it. Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. mcliatt permalink*
    10/16/2009 11:03 pm

    Thanks Tracey!

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