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My friends all know I'm a crazy arse-on-the-line rabble-rousing anarchist. I truly, madly, deeply believe that direct action is the only way to create fundamental change in society.  I bet I'm the only person you know who's sad she couldn't be in Chicago for the NATO Summit protests.

Never let it be said, however, that I toe the line when it comes to anarchist political theory (if there even is such a thing as an anarchist "toeing the line" LOL). The thing is, anarchists don't vote: "it only encourages them".  On the other hand, I believe (truly, madly, deeply) that it is my most fundamental right and duty as a citizen of this country to exercise my franchise.

(I'm going to save space in your stream, so you if you really want to read more of my thinky thoughts, jump the squiggle.  Oh, and there are a couple of f-bombs as well.)

Anyway, as a result of my beliefs, I'm also a political blog junkie.  I read at least 10 a day (including this one GO FIGURE), and that's besides following links to primary sources. I (truly, madly, deeply) believe that the USA is in a crucial moment in history and thus that it is my duty as a citizen to keep up to date (if not minute!) with political developments.  And these days, it's part of my job to keep up with this shit.

But lo, I have finally reached, not only saturation point, not only critical mass, but absolutely terrifying, triggering^^ horror.  Day after day, I watch my country crumble into potential fascism, and it is freaking me the fuck out.  

(^^ I'm only one generation out from having an entire branch of my family wiped out in the Holocaust. My grandmother used to say things like, "You can eat shrimp on Yom Kippur, but when the Nazis come, to them you're still a Jew."  The Nazis were the bogeymen of my nightmares; I had dreams of them coming to get me; I used to lie awake at night waiting for them to break down the door.  So yes, I mean triggering.)

So when I tell people that after only three months on the job I'm in the top 20% of the phone-beggars in my call center, which is the top progressive/liberal/Democrat phone-begging center in the country, and they ask me how I can do that, the reason is: I believe that what I do is vital for the continued existence of democracy in this country. And this comes across in my phone calls.

My bosses say I have a great "pitch". They say I have legitimacy and urgency and energy.  What the fuck ever.  In the past couple of weeks, you know what my "pitch" has become?  You want to know how I get people to contribute?

"Hi, my name is [Rani], and I'm calling on behalf of [Democratic organization]. I have to tell you this call may be monitored to assure my quality, but [ma'am/sir] I promise it'll be a very brief call because you already know that this country is an utter mess. I don't know about you, but I am so tired of every time I turn on the news or open a newspaper all I do is get battered with news about mudslinging and lies and corruption, and then five times a day you get calls from people like me who throw it at you again. I'm not going to do that, [sir/ma'am]. All I'm going to tell you is one thing: you can do something about it.  You can do it now.  In fact, it is absolutely vital that you do it now, right now, before the election.  Here's how."  

I truly, madly, deeply believe that what I do is a form of ... well, maybe not direct action, but action nonetheless; I help people stop feeling helpless.  And that's what gets the goods.

Originally posted to TimeandtheRani on Sat May 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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