The act of appointing myself to a platform such as this one and showcasing my opinions as holy relics reminds me that talk is cheap. I say things are screwed up as all hell a lot—sometimes it’s not enough.
So in a few hours I will head south to a Philadelphia suburb to canvass door-to-door for Barack Obama. The last time I did this was exactly 40 years ago in northern Virginia when Hubert Humphrey became the first Democrat in over 100 years to lose that state to Richard ‘Southern Strategy’ Nixon. I was on the losing side then and pretty much ever since and this time gleefully anticipate joining the winners at long, very long, last.
It will be tiring and often aggravating work, no doubt, but that’s nothing compared to the psychological effort involved in dredging up faith in my fellow bipeds yet again at this hoary age after so much direct evidence of their hopelessness. But I can handle most anything as long as my co-workers don’t start telling me about all the wondrous acts the Democrats will perform once they gain elected office. That gullible I ain’t because I saw them up close and personal during my years reporting from Capitol Hill.
No, it is not fondness for the ‘opposition’ party that moves me but cautious belief in the strange phenomenon of Mr Obama himself. Somehow, our system has permitted this voice of sanity to emerge and potentially to subvert its most glaringly dangerous and inhumane tendencies. There’s no guarantee, but he is an authentic version of what the rabid ultras have been painting themselves as since the Saint Ronald years: an outsider.
That’s the one (and only) thing I share with the undecideds, a sense that we really don’t know what Barack Obama will be like in power. Precisely, Watson. Unlike the entirely predictable Hillary, who is a competent weathervane but would lead us nowhere risky or new, I see Obama as having the insight to seek to reverse our current course and the political skill to accomplish it.
At the same time, I know that this Saturday excursion is essentially for me. Pennsylvania seems to be in the bag barring a major shakeup, and the measly 20 or 25 people I might influence in my wanderings through the streets of Middle America won’t in themselves make any difference.
But I need to feel that I did my part, that I put my spoon in and stirred along with other people who have suffered through the misrule of these criminals. I promise to report fully on what I see and hear later in the weekend.