b Papa Dog's Blog: Kerry: He's Not Bush

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Kerry: He's Not Bush

So, here’s something I’ve never done before. Today I went down to the local Democratic Party headquarters and picked up a Kerry/Edwards sign. This is the first time in my life that I’ve cared so much about the outcome of an election that I’d be willing to advertise my views in my front window. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any “NOT THAT FUCKING ASSHOLE BUSH IN 2004” signs, so “Kerry/Edwards – A Stronger America” would have to do.

It stuck me as I entered the dingy little storefront in downtown Oakland that I hadn’t been inside a campaign HQ since the I was still in single digits (canvassing on behalf of Lloyd Francis, mentioned in some earlier post). Well, I suppose I should count the time when I was 16 and writing speeches for Al Cavanaugh, the local Rhino party candidate. Officially, the campaign HQ was the bar where Al alternated between being a bouncer or a customer, but in practical terms the nerve centre was our house, and I did spend a fair amount of time there.

The Alameda County Democratic Party HQ wasn’t exactly bustling. In fact, it was empty except for a few volunteers, all of whom seemed thrilled to have someone walk in off the street. I had kind of expected a hive of activity, but I suppose it makes sense that the place would be a morgue. Kerry could get drunk and expose himself to Diane Sawyer on national television the night before the election and he’d still take Alameda County by at least 70%. Being a Kerry volunteer in Oakland is probably a bit like being a Maytag repairman.

Several volunteers glommed on to me, but once it was determined that I wasn’t actually looking to volunteer myself but just wanted a window sign, I got passed off to the sign lady. “I want a Kerry/Edwards window sign,” I told her. “We’re having a party tomorrow and we don’t want our friends to think we suck.” She indicated a stack of signs. “One of our volunteers bought these,” she said. “All he asks is that you make a minuscule donation to help him out.” I’d been hoarding small bills for the poker game tonight, but they were all at home. Fortunately, I’d just been to the ATM to get some more fives (Bank of the West ATMs will five you $5 bills – yay, BotW), so I stuck one of those in the donation jar. She got all saucer-eyed. “Are you sure you don’t want any change? Most people just give a dollar.” “Nah,” I said, starting to feel like a big wheel, “I want Bush to lose way more than a dollar’s worth.” Well, take a few, she said, handing me several signs. “Uh…we don’t have this many front windows,” I protested. But then I figured I could give them away as party favours. In that spirit, I ended up with three Kerry/Edwards signs, a Boxer for Senate sign, and a handful of various Democratic Party brochures and stickers. The volunteer started asking if I knew anybody who wanted to be a precinct captain or if I wanted to do precinct walks or help get out the vote by phone. I was starting to get a little uncomfortable. Does nobody ever visit these people? I hadn’t the heart to say that I hate talking on the phone or going outside during daylight hours, let alone that I’m not a U.S. citizen and won’t be voting in this or any other American election. So I just smiled and thanked her and said I’d put the brochures out at the party and urge everybody I know to vote for Kerry. That is, everybody who’s an American citizen and gets to vote. So hey out there. Do that, okay? And then I went home and we put the signs in the window.


Blogger RachelleCentral said...

I just wanted to let you know - nothing to do with the debate, however - that since starting to read your blog, I have gone out to buy the Robertson Davies trilogy, on your recommendation. It better be good! For the record, I'd already read Nana.

My recommendations for you, given those two books: McTeague by Frank Norris, Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis, anything by Dawn Powell. Maybe as an American, these are all obvious to you. But none of them are readily available in Australia, so it was like a miracle when I discovered them. And, oh, anything by Richard Yates. Everything by Richard Yates!

11:17 PM  

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