Archive for March 15th, 2010

My Secret Life as a Campaign Groupie

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: American Patriotism, Political Activism | Tags: , , |

I have a secret.  Something I think I’ve only ever mentioned to my husband.  I have always secretly wished to work on a political campaign.  Since, I’m the most ignorant of all persons about the political process and the least polished of un-professional politicos my chances of that ever happening were, well, rather slim.

Then Barak Obama was selected as our 44th President and the Tea Party Revolution was born. I’m not sure but I think there were Tea Partier’s around prior to the inauguration of Obama but after that sad day there was NO question that the Tea Party/912 Movement was going to thrive.

I have since wondered why we (my husband and myself) didn’t know about our local Tax Day Tea Party Rally April 15, 2008 but then I remember I was in the Caribbean marrying the first of our three daughters. Our first encounter with the Tea Party Movement was in DC, September 12, 2009, a day I will never forget. If the collective energy of that miles wide gathering had been encapsulated in a rocket booster it might have been enough to launch the Space Shuttle.

As, I have stated in earlier posts my husband and I returned home to our lefty liberal district in upstate NY scratching our heads and itching in other places, wondering what difference we might make.  We immediately felt like the runt ants of the litter in the ant hole. We had no idea HOW to get involved.

Soon we formed a local 912/Tea Party Meetup group. While having meetings and continuing to attend ObamaCare protests and various other rallies encouraged us greatly we became increasingly aware that these events would not bring about the real changes we desired to see in our local, state, and national government systems.

Had our first meet with the Tea Party Movement not also coincided with an election year my secret wish might not be a reality.  Not only is this an election year but this is most likely the most important non-presidential election year in the last fifty years or possibly the history of our young US Republic.

We realized we must pivot and do more than complain about the current state of affairs.  We had to become active and we encouraged the members of our 912 group to consider pivoting with us.  We were painfully aware that we had NOT been concerned citizens soon enough…back when the snowball of crushing tax burdens and loss of liberty was small and not a hair’s length from rolling over us, leaving us bruised, victimized and demoralized.

We had been complacent, ignorant, and too busy to care much, let alone get involved.  I have to be honest, before this last year I couldn’t tell you who my state senator was or my US congressman.  I didn’t even know what congressional district I lived in.  And, Assembly District? What’s that?

I had never gone to a town board meeting, didn’t know that I was supposed to represent my party as a precinct committeeperson in my neighbor, and did not know the name of a single party “who’s who” in my district.

I did, however, pride myself that I knew that the little building in the middle of my dilapidated town was where I showed up once every two years to cast my very important vote.  I felt so relieved each time I entered that building, pulled the lever, and voted, sometimes for people I had never heard of.  But, what did that matter?  I had cast my vote, accomplishing my civic duty because I made sure I cast my vote for my party…right down the line…R?, click, R?, click, R?, click.

Well, not this past election cycle of November 2009.  I got up early that day, drove to the little stone building, and instead of signing in I asked the nice little ole’ lady,who had the auspicious job of making sure I was who I said I was, if I could have a ballot list.  I didn’t even know it was called a ballot list. I asked her for the piece of paper that told me who was running, that’s how pathetic I was.

The little ole’ lady looked a little disappointed I wasn’t going to sign her book…she was desperately trying to stay awake;  not much action in our little town.  “NO,” I said, “I’m not voting just yet but I’ll be back later.”

I returned later to cast my more informed vote after I having googled every candidate on that ballot list and checking them out thoroughly. When I left the stone building that evening not only did I “feel” relieved I had done my civic duty, I “knew” I had done my civic duty.  I was getting smarter.

Now, how does this fit into my secret wish to work on a campaign?  Well, as I educated myself about the candidates on the ballot that day I began to explore what candidates were running in the 2010 elections. I educated myself about my state senators, my state congressmen, my assembly district, my US senators and US congressmen. I shared this information with my husband.

About that time another Tea Party group in our region was having a Meet & Greet for a candidate running  for Congress representing our district.  He is running against a nine term incumbent congressman who is, to say the least, a career politician and did not host one Town Hall Meeting in the summer of 2009 when we, his constituents, needed to hear from him and voice our concerns about the presidents supposed bill to improve the care of our health. I call that cowardice at its best.

My husband and I had never been to a Meet & Greet for a candidate, any candidate, let alone a candidate for the US Congress.  We listened to his platform stump.  We observed his demeanor.  We listened to the questions other attendees asked. I took many notes.

After, the meeting we introduced ourselves to this candidate.  We let him know of our interest in learning more of his platform and possibly helping him in our community. My husband and I talked all the way home about how much we instinctively liked this man but we needed to be wiser than we once were and take it slow.  We decided to research this candidate before we rushed to do anything for him.

Well, that was three months ago and we are now full-fledged supporters (mostly volunteer time and energy) of this man’s campaign for the US Congress. 

I will be writing more about my experiences as I walk a path I’ve  never walked before; the path into political activism. Along the way, I’m sure I’ll will make mistakes but that doesn’t bother me.  I know I will learn a great deal and that energizes me.

What have I learned so far?

Groupie Rule # 1.  Don’t whine about politics if you don’t plan on doing anything to change it. Educate yourself.  Take a stand for something.  Get active.  Support SOMEONE!

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