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Notes From The Field

Updated on June 30, 2011

Taking It To My Streets

One thing I learned from my work on Obama's 2008 Campaign, and my work for Joe Sestak during the primaries is that elections are won on the ground.  What better place to lay that groundwork than in one's own neighborhood.

Saturday, October 9th, I did a canvass of Democratic Voters in my suburban Harrisburg neighborhood.  While it was, like most canvasses are, basically a literature drop, I did see a few common threads.

The first is that there are still, even with less than a month before the election, a lot of undecided and even unaware voters.  These are the people that work like what I did can benefit.  A reminder that there is an election may be a great way to spur them to vote.

The second is that I encountered a few Democrats who seem to have "drank the tea".  The one that bothered me the most was a man with a PhD.  When I brought up folks like Rand Paul, he dismissed me.  I thought I had him on the idea of a 'corporate state", and he even said he thought that Citizen's United  was a bad decision.  Of course, with folks like Beck and Limbaugh, and the mainstream media's silence on pointing out the radical ideas that many in the Tea Party wing espouse, it could happen.  This silence may have to do with the reliance on the mainstream media on corporate dollars or what I like to call the Fox Effect.  

The final point is likely what was a key component of the GOP's strategy.  When I approached a house that I was to survey two younger people, I got their Mom.  She told me that the two youths just didn't want to vote, as they didn't understand that they needed to.  This could be the Republican's greatest triumph.  Their campaign of obstruction may have managed to convince the younger people that worked and voted for Obama that he's ineffectual and weak.

The last two points are what worry me most.  I can only hope that if the GOP does retake congress that the people America see what they've done, and that spurs people back into action.  No matter what happens, I'll be doing something to keep the wheels of progress turning against the reactionaries.


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    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 7 years ago from Camp Hill, PA


      One, you did not respond to my hub "A Third Way", which explains my thoughts on some of the structural changes I see as necessary.

      But to answer your question; I don't think a vote for a Green is wasted per se, and I think that it may be relevant, but it can also hurt.

    • Jeremey profile image

      Jeremey 7 years ago from Arizona

      I think we need to vote in some garbage men, and taxi drivers, or a secratary from a doctors office, maybe a school teacher or two, or a machinist, welder, truck driver, convenience store cashier.... and on and on. we need people totally seperate from any particular political party, someone who can empathize with the average joe, not feel compassion for some corporate executives wanting to buy a political pocket who's afraid he may lose his lifestyle because of his own greed. We need a revolution, where the poor and middle class have their voices heard from the local levels on up.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for the response. Do you think Ralp Nader is a wasted vote or irrelevant to today's political world in United States? (just curious I am not implying anything, nor do I think that)

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 7 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      Mr. Happy:

      To answer your question, I see the Democrats as a better fit for me of the two major parties.

      I think you commented on the hub I published about the type of infrastructure that would needed to be built for a progressive party, along the European Greens or Social Democrats, to truly take hold.

      There are a few 'Communist' parties in the US; the CPUSA, Workers World, and Socialist Workers Party come to mind. We even have a socialist, though he was elected as an independent, in the US Senate.

      I'll look at those vids later-K

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. TeaPartyCrasher, here's a short video to watch for you:

      Actually you should watch this one as well:

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I appreciate your response Mr. AR. And to tell you the truth, seing both sides of an issue is hard indeed but I do see both sides of a coin. Does that mean I am sitting in the middle?

      As I said, you guys keep arguing and Wall Street will keep getting richer because both parties (Democrats and Republicans) have been bought-off by lobbyists. The Republicans are not looking after your interets, MR AR. Just as the Democrats are not looking after the well being of Mr. TeaPartyCrasher. The government only listens to lobbyists and to think otherwise would mean to ignore the millions of dollars spend by Wall Street on Capitol Hill. Obama has been paid-off just as McCain was paid off (by Wall Street).


    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 7 years ago from Camp Hill, PA


      You will NEVER get me to believe that putting corporate interests over the working people and this planet is the right thing. If only you'd turn off the corporate chatter and listen to someone like Rick Smith or Shared Sacrifice you may get it.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      Mr. Happy, Is it easy going through life sitting in the middle of the fence? Let me clear up something for you! There is no such thing as politicaly correct! There is right and wrong! I am right and crasher is WRONG! I don't mean that in a demoralizing manner, I also don't mean to imply I don't like him! I think he is a great writer and I believe he believes in what he writes! He is also arrogant without a history to warrant that! He is also misguided by his youth and whatever someone filled his brain with! Two hours over a beer (he would probably want some type of drink with coconut) I could possible change his mind or at least get him to think a different direction! I'm here to help believe it or not!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      lol Mr. AR ... why is his life miserable? I didn't see it that bad.

      On another note I certainly do not think you two should be arguing. Republican or Democrat it is all one and the same. Wall Street funded most of McCain's campaign as they did for Obama. We would have been in the same situation either way.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Why did you chose to work for the Democrats as supposed to the Green Party or the Communist Party for example (is there even a communist party in the States)? Or how about working for Ralph Nader?

      I think even Ron Paul (a rebublican) would have been better than Obama (and this is coming out of a socialist's mouth)...


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