I am a big Obama fan, but I carry this big load of guilt that I'm not doing enough. I stood in line for hours to hear him speak. I give money. I have a bumper sticker on my car and (very cool!) spoke cards on my bike. I respond to "he's a Muslim" emails from my husband's family in Georgia.
The thing is, I can't vote for Obama. I wish I could. But I'm a permanent resident, and even if I could get over my gut reaction to having to divorce my country of Canada to become an American (topic for another diary, sigh...), I can't get it done in time to vote.
Which leaves me feeling guilty.
And then guiltier when I get calls from very friendly Obama volunteers inviting me to all kinds of activities that are so not compatible with two small kids and the realities of needing to breastfeed every couple of hours. Or so I tell myself. I'm also a terrible introvert who works from home over the internet, when I'm not turning into an online political junkie. The idea of cold calling people (even nice ones) is really distressing. Knocking on strange doors.... eeeeeeeeeee..... uh uh. Not even for Obama.
But I have been totally antsy these last few days. Obama's speech made me proud. (Maybe even proud enough to actually put together my naturalization paperwork...??). The Republican convention made me want to fight.
So today I signed up for the Neighbor to Neighbor program, canvassing for Barack. I got 40 names and addresses of people who live less than a quarter mile from my house, put my son in the Ergo (indispensible child backpack thingie no parent should be without), and went for a walk.
Fortunately, the first door I knocked on was a nice 20 something guy who is definitely voting for Obama and thought my baby was cute. Lots of people weren't home. Lots didn't live there any more. One house is not where the Obama campaign thinks it is. And my neighborhood has some big hills, so my butt hurts after all the stairs up to folks' houses.
We got to nine doors this morning. We'll do some more after nap time. It wasn't glamorous work. It also wasn't difficult - I live in Eugene, Oregon, which is definitely Obama country.
There were no magic moments, I don't think I made any great voter conquests, I have no shiny story to tell about how I rescued someone from the depths of Republican dispair. But I survived knocking on the doors of strangers, even if I had to take my toddler along for bravery. I had a nice chat with a couple of neighbors I hadn't met. I have a profound new respect for people who do this canvassing stuff in more challenging territory.
Today I fought back, just a tiny little bit, and it felt good. Really good. I canvassed and did not die. Go figure!!
UPDATE:Geez!!!! I got like 2 nice comments/door I knocked on here in like 5 minutes. No lack of encouragement in these parts :)...