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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.

Originally posted to a budde on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yikes. (22+ / 0-)

    I've heard stuff like this, too:

    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.
    But... Good lord, after 8 years of Bush, certainly we've realized that things can just get worse, and worse, and worse.  There's no bottoming out.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:50:53 PM PDT

    •  ultimately it's Maoist. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, a budde, OIL GUY, jan4insight

      The idea is to exacerbate the contradictions of capitalism until the proletariat rise up in revolution.

      Needless to say things don't always work out as intended.

      So I wonder about this: would it get some of these defeatist types off their asses to vote, by asking them if they're Maoist and hoping for revolution?   This on the hypothesis that some of them are misguided progressives who will be horrified at being associated with Maoism and react against it.

      Alternately, ask them how bad it has to get: race riots? overt starvation? collapse scenarios?  Oh, and what will they expect to do when they can't get toilet paper?  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 01:34:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and again, just because things are bad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, nomandates

        It doesn't mean that everyone "sees the light" and does exactly what you want. It could gt far, far worse. or it could get better for the few that wield power. It's really a thought experiment that I'd rather not live out.

      •  I know a lot of neo-cons used to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        leftists and I sometimes wonder if some of them aren't playing the worse is better Maoist game in secret.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:42:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's older than Mao (0+ / 0-)

          Anyone remember that old Communist nickname for Hitler, the "icebreaker of revolution"? Because he was supposed to make things so bad that they would end up getting better.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 04:14:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There are plenty on this site who insist that we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are finally at the end crisis of capitalism and should all work to bring on the revolution and eliminate private property.  Most of them will insist they are not Maoists but rather the heralds of a new glorious socialist paradise.

        It is no use arguing with them but I do feel the need to mock them occasionally.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Capitalism does not work and you do not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          have to be a Maoist to see that. And by the way what exactly is a Maoist and how is he like anything on the American left? You understand that if we were Communists we would just simply take your stuff by force, right? And that Mao and Lenin and Castro preached and practiced this right? So away with your tired cliches and your false equivalences? You are as bad as Issa arguing that "Fast and Furious was a plot to take away guns.

          Your need to mock betrays an immaturity that makes it impossible for you to contribute anything serious to a discussion. And you run the risk of persuading the unpersuaded that Obama's supporters are as irrational and immature as your average Rush Limbaugh supporter.

          If Obama's policies were so great why is unemployment above 8%? The real reasons is because of loss of government jobs but that is the way of capitalism is it not?
          Free market reformers cutting the size of government is causing suffering that capitalism can not ease.

          There will be no glorious socialist paradise but there will be no glorious capitalist paradise either. And the proven policies of the past that have worked have been thrown aside by Republicans and DLC Democrats. Like you. So while you are mocking people who disagree with you people are hurting. And you refuse to help them. And you reduce those of us who would help them to an irrelevant stereotypic And if you reflect the Presidents most ardent supporters it is no wonder he is losing the left. And if Romney wins do not blame me, because I do not matter, right?

  •  How Ridiculous.... (15+ / 0-)

    Letting Mitt Romney run this country into the ground is NO guarantee that we'll start over w/ someone new aka someone better.

    Who is that someone new going to be?  One thing whoever he/she is will need a boatload of money to win.  Who is going to supply the boatload?

    This former liberal, former Obama supporter needs a reality check.  Times have changed.  Just ask Justice Antonin Scalia.

    •  A lot of people just see it as (0+ / 0-)

      rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  It's hard for me to not fall into that trap when I see how little is being done about the really serious problems we have.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:51:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't get this kind of thinking at all... (14+ / 0-)
    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
    Does she not realize that "running the economy into the ground" = financial ruin for actual people? Has she ever actually had to "start over" and is she including herself in the group of people whom she's sentencing to starting over?

    Thanks for cold-calling and fundraising, a budde.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:33:00 PM PDT

  •  You are hopeless, budde (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a budde

    Now you even believe Romney, who is more twisted than a corkscrew.

    I do hope you raise lots of money and gain a lot of friends.  You appear a fine fellow.

    It is a matter of great indifference to me which winger wins the presidency.  Neither is my choice.

    Wish you all the best, nevertheless.  There is hope as long as people like you are out there.

    Best,  Terry

  •  Once this country turns into Mexico or China or (15+ / 0-)

    Somalia there is no guarantee that we can get it back. Broken countries are very hard to fix. I hate this thinking, it's just short sighted and stupid.

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

    by Deathtongue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:47:09 PM PDT

  •  They said the same thing about Bush, you know - (17+ / 0-)

    after he 'runs the country' into the ground then 'people will wake up' and we'll finally get the progressive paradise we've been longing for!

    I'm talking about Bush pere; yep they said it back then. And of course during 8 long years of Bush fils. And probably back as far as Reagan and Nixon. One has to wonder, haven't we had enough 'country into ground' running? How much more before they get off their asses & work for the best chance we've got?

    I have no use for so-called 'liberals' like that.

    Kudos to you for your campaign work!

  •  Simple.... (8+ / 0-)

    They think there's very little to lose and everything to gain. They think letting your neighbor get robbed and stabbed will make them better patriots. They think pain and ruin will fix what ails America. They believe unwarranted destruction by the hands of greedy tyrants will trigger the revival of the revolution spirit or "rightfully" damn a nation of fools.

    ....except them, of course. They believe they'll the special ones to survive Rapture of Rmoney and bring progressive salvation to all. Sounds familiar, right? A conservative, religious notion masked as a Democratic solution. And they don't it. That's the rub.

    •  no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Liberals who express the "friend's" views are most likely deeply frustrated and disappointed in the president and Democratic disfunction and have adopted a "fuck em all, I don't care" attitude as an emotional coping mechanism. They aren't thinking past their anger and disgust. When election time comes, this kind of person will probably either not vote or get rational and vote for the Ds.

      I know it's popular here to bash people on the left who make dumb hyperbolic statements like this, but seriously, these people are not the problem since there aren't that many of them compared to the vastly larger demographic who we should be focussed on: moderate and vaguely liberal LIVs (mostly young, poor, and / or minority) who are politically naive and who vote (or more likely don't vote) based on their pocketbooks. Those people, not the Naderites, gave us 2010, and will most likely dish out the same in 2012 if the economy stays the same or gets worse - and no amount of hippy-punching will stop that trend. I'm not sure traditional GOTV will work either. The only thing that will bring those folks to the voting booth is if they are convinced that things are getting better for their little selves, and that Democrats are making that happen.


      •  It's even more popular here (0+ / 0-)

        to shout people down if it's pointed out that the "fuck 'em all" people are functionally right wingers.

      •  And the Democratic party and many on this site (0+ / 0-)

        are doing a very bad job of persuading people that things will be better with an Obama victory. It is not that they will vote for Romney, its that they will stay home. The Republicans count on low turn out, on a demoralized Democratic party. That is what the whole voter fraud issue is about. They are trying to make it as hard as possible to get people to the polls. So they do not bother to show up.

        Well what have Democrats done to make sure that voters actually have a reason to turn out in spite of the inconvenience? How charged up are people about health care reform? Or the improving economy? Do people see Democrats actually out there fighting. Or do they see an endless streak of compromise followed by Republicans going back on their deals?

        Give me a reason to vote. Just saying well Romney will be worse is not enough. How will Romney be worse? He won't even take a position on anything. He is like trying to pick up mercury, he just squirms away.

        If you want Obama re-elected figure out how to maximize turnout. And do not blame me if you fail. Voting is a choice, not an obligation. You may not like it but it is not against the law not to vote. And you disapproval is not enough to get people to the polls.

  •  The benchmark for liberal political success (6+ / 0-)

    in the mind of many is FDR.

    And he was elected in the midst of the Great Depression.

    It's not hard to understand why someone thinks that the next FDR will require extreme hardships to create.

    Such utilitiarian thinking to my mind is offensive--whether its done by Marxists (many of whom, a century ago, opposed liberal democracy on the grounds that it would undermine the case for true socialism) or by modern liberals guided by little more than disappointment in the progressives who do manage to get elected.

    •  These people who think that way would not (4+ / 0-)

      have voted for Roosevelt in 1936 either. After all, things weren't just hunky-dory after FDR's first term.

      I don't know if we just are so used to instant gratification now or what the problem is. Or if they just forgot that the entire banking system was about to go belly-up at the end of 2008.

      The thing is that by electing Obama, the worst did not happen. But some people do not give him credit because he stopped the worst from happening. Yes, the stimulus should have been larger, but if McCain had been elected, there would have been no stimulus. Yes, we would have all liked a public option, but with McCain, there would be no reform at all. Etc.

      And spare me the list of things that Obama did or did not do that you don't like. I'm 66 and no President has ever done everything to my satisfaction - or to anyone's. And none ever will. But the choice is which direction do you want to go.

      Sometimes I think that I'd just like for the wingnuts to get their way so they will have to live with the results. But in reality, the shit will fall on the just and the unjust so I don't really want that to happen. Hopefully this woman is just venting and when it is time to vote, she will realize that who the President is makes a difference in the lives of real people. It is never going to be perfect. Nothing in life is. But there is a difference in what life would be like under Obama and under Romney.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 05:26:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FDR was a success in the minds of people because (0+ / 0-)

      he was a fighter. If his ideas were shot down by the courts he would denounce them and try another idea. He was not seen as a compromiser has was seen as one sided and hell bent. And he was not afraid to collect enemies along the way. He was hated and is hated to this day. But he was seen as someone who tried to get things done. And yes he had problems in his party too. But he fought them and was not afraid to dictate orders to Democrats in Congress and punish them too.

      Oh BTW you do not know what utilitarianism is. Go look up John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism is the idea that something is good dependent on how many people benefit from it. The more people that benefit the better.

      Marxists did not like liberal democracy because liberal democracy tends to protect property rights. To achieve true socialism, from their point of view you must eliminate private property. That requires a dictatorship. When private property is gone then the dictatorship will fade away as will the further need of government.  Not my point of view but still.

    •  FDR was to the right of Congress (0+ / 0-)

      He actually had to restrain them from go to socialist.

  •  When Nixon was running against Kennedy (14+ / 0-)

    I heard people on the left saying the same thing a lot of years ago: Vote for Nixon to bring the whole thing down faster.

    It was false then and is particularly false now, with Koch & Co. standing by to institute government by fiat.

  •  People Like That Give Cynicism A Bad Name (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Squid, jan4insight

    I call it the "Give Us Barabbas" syndrome. She is channeling an archetype.

  •  Just A Thought But You Might Be Able To Reach (4+ / 0-)

    some of the disaffected by mentioning the War on Women, esp. access to birth control. Rmoney's promise to get rid of PP is visceral to people who care about women's health and autonomy.

    Thanks for cold-calling.  Break a leg - or two! :o)

  •  One difference with me . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, TheLizardKing, jan4insight

    One difference with me . . . is that I'm not disappointed with Obama. As far as I can tell he kept most of his campaign promises, to the extent that Congress did not make it totally impossible (like with Gitmo).  

    I think Obama has been a great President, maybe the best in my 60 years of experience, and Romney is a dork. Having said that, things ALREADY fell apart and we ARE starting over. I really don't want things to get worse than 2008-2009, please.

    Besides, the Clinton gang is mistaken to think that running Hillary against an incumbent Romney in 2016 will be easier than running after Obama's 2nd term.

    "Free market" simplified - if you buy a product and it kills you, you won't buy it again - no government needed.

    by tomwfox on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 04:48:00 AM PDT

  •  Both lead to the same destination (0+ / 0-)

    The difference is, do you want to get there fast or slow?  Neither will change the status quo.

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 05:02:28 AM PDT

  •  what is to be done? (0+ / 0-)

    I have pretty negative feelings towards Obama, don't plan to campaign or contribute money as i did last time. I will vote for him in NY if I bother. I would bother in a swing state.

    There is something to be said for thinking the country might ultimately be better in the short and medium term if Romney wins. This isn't German Communists wanting Hitler so they would be next---turned out they were literally half right, but few (of them even) would argue it was worth it.

    In the US, if Obama wins, he still won't get anything useful by Congress because of the filibuster, even if Dems retake the House. And also because so many Dems are little better than Republicans on economic issues.

    So, a Republican will almost surely win in 2016 and that person might be worse than Romney. If Romney wins and runs the economy even further into the ground it might be possible for a more sweeping Dem victory in 2016--though if Cuomo or Clinton run it might not mean much give their
    DLC views.

    The biggest reason to vote for Obama is the Supreme Court vacancies that might, with a little luck, happen and some slim hope he might actually do something a bit more than do a better job of  implementing Bush's foreign policy.
    I don't really see Romney doing anything any different. He's not a neo-con in ideology or temperment , because he is mainly worried about fucking up more than he is worried about doing something risky. Bush was the opposite and Romney knows what that means...disaster.

    Will Obama really break with Israeli policy? Reverse course on Honduras, Bahrain, Cuba? Unlikely, but a 10% chance is better than none I guess, but nit mucgh better.

    Unless Michelle kicks his ass for making her play the insipid First Lady role for nothing I see little reason to expect much from him.
    So, all in all i'll probably hold my nose and vote for the most disappointing person I ever supported because Justice Kennedy might die or retire. Hard to get enthused about that.

  •  A fundamentally selfish point of view (0+ / 0-)

    "I didn't get what I want, so the world can just go burn!"

    "Then maybe they'll understand how wonderful I was all along!"

  •  liberals (0+ / 0-)

    I may not have a full liberal inclination but it does not prevent me from believing that the liberals are going to win. The other side just does not have a good candidate.

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