It was only last month that I decided to re-activate my inner activist and throw myself headfirst into presidential politics, and with less than 6 months before Election Day, I became a full time worker for the Obama Campaign in the Headquarters.
Today I was doing some fundraising (i.e. everyone's favorite thing - cold calls), and I got into one of the most interesting and frankly sad conversations with someone who used to be a die-hard supporter. She was a big time liberal. Someone who should be on our side from the beginning, but had grown vastly disillusioned with the President. Now, I share a lot of her frustrations things that have happened in the country these past few years, but I was really shocked by some of the feelings she shared with me.
After talking for about 10 minutes with this woman about the issues she cared about most, she finally gave up and said that she would prefer to see Mitt Romney win the election so he could just run the economy into the ground and so we could start over with someone new.
I didn't know what to say to her, so eventually I thanked her for her time and conversation, hoped that we could have her vote in November, and hung up. I wish I had told her that if her wish came true, millions of families would be at a greater risk for medical bankruptcy after a Romney Administration signs the radical House Republican health care repeal. I wish I had told her about the women who would have lost access to reproductive care at all levels after a conservative legislature and court has four years to ram through their agenda. I wish I could have talked with her about all of the people in this country who look up to this President and see a hopeful future for themselves and their family.
I used to live in DC before coming out to Chicago. I left a lot of good people, family, and my favorite places behind in DC, but I came out here because I believe we have a President that is too good for the political climate of today. And it would be devastating to see the positive ideals that he stands for go down in defeat in November. Devastating to people who believed in an icon that could change the way people think about politics. Devastating on a practical level for the people who depend on our government to give them a leg up in this world and a chance to live with dignity.
So I didn't win over that lost ally in one phone call today, but I hope the next time I can. And I hope that she can see that this is not a game we can afford to sit out and wait for next season.
Whew. Glad that's out of my system. I'd love it if those still reading this could contribute to my personal grassroots fundraising page. Just $3 and a comment below, and I'll be ever grateful. Thanks.