It's Saturday morning. I just got up to make a coffee and turn on the heat. It is chilly in the house and I'm sitting in my husband's recliner under a fluffy blanket. The drapes are still closed but I can see sunlight peeking in at the edges. The house is quiet.
While I sip my coffee things are already well underway at the Democratic Headquarters on Stanford Boulevard, where they are having an Early Voting GOTV rally. There you will find energized volunteers and supercharged campaign staff fueling up with extra coffee. They will be working from now until Election Day is over. Indeed they have been working already for quite some time.
We may get tired of TV ads and Internet ads and telephone calls and mailers. In fact, as the election draws near it is hard not to want to find a quiet place where those things do not exist. But they do have a message for us. Behind all the organized outreach are people. People who care.
These are real human beings who care about community and good government. They are devoting their time to something they believe in. I keep reading that these elections don't seem to be engaging the general consciousness. I read about voter apathy. In his recent post, blogger Steve Charing points out:
The phenomenon of only a minority of the electorate choosing our leaders has a consequence. George Jean Nathan, a collaborator with H.L Mencken, once said, "Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote."
I once heard an occupational therapist and a speech language pathologist talking about a student in the early childhood program. He had one last year before he would move to an elementary ALS program, and they were determined that this was the year he would start to talk. The likely time window for developing functional speech was coming to an end and this was shaping all of their plans for the year. They were coordinating their efforts. They were working with classroom teachers, support staff, and the home. This was their last opportunity to make a significant difference in the life of this child, and they weren't going to waste one moment.
It all came down to this: to give him a voice, his own voice.
So why are these people over at campaign headquarters working so hard? To give us a voice. But first they must get our attention. To tell us we have a choice. To tell us we have a responsibility to be engaged and be a part of the solution. If we remain passive we have truly chosen to be a part of the problem.
If we remain passive we have no voice.
A heartfelt HoCoHoller! to the People Who Believe on this chilly October morning. It may seem like a thankless job, but don't lose heart. Over here at Village Green/Town Squared I'm thanking you big time.
Now grab your coffee and your Pop Tarts and get out there!