I think I’ll go call Florida
I have a friend who’s been phone banking for Hillary. No one’s seen her for weeks. This weekend she’ll be frantically making last-minute calls to swing states to pull for her candidate, and I deeply respect her passion and effort, actually doing something in the face of the looming disaster for America and the whole world that would be a Trump presidency.
But I have to wonder: has any human ever convinced another human of anything? I don’t mean to be gloomy, but if anyone ever has, I don’t think I’ve seen it. We’re not really a reasonable species. Least of all now, when one candidate is seen as irredeemably corrupt because she exists in our current system and the other is profoundly unqualified, unstable, immature, unintelligent- Sorry, it’s hard to stop that list. The other candidate is….Trump.
But whether or not phone banking ever does any good, I have to wonder: this weekend? Is there anyone left in America who hasn’t made up their mind yet? If there’s anyone with any shred of doubt left, will a phone call help?
I want to find out. I want to see what a political phone bank call is like. I’m thinking Saturday afternoon. I’ll call Florida and ask them “So? Whaddya think?” I’m not going to try to convince anyone. Of anything. But I want to hear the opinion of a complete stranger in a battleground state.
Lordy help us. Battleground states. That was once a very real thing, 1861-1865. And more and more, it feels that way again. Every 2 or 4 years.
Can we indict the 24 hour news cycle on charges of treason? I’m getting sidetracked. But that’s the theme of this election, where the entire country was sidetracked from the issues. Yes, Donald Trump is a reprehensible human being, and should face charges of sexual assault. And plenty of people want to see Hillary in the defendant’s chair too. But as satisfying as revenge fantasies are, I’d rather we were talking about actual issues.
Wealth inequality. Systemic racism & sexism and how we’re going to ameliorate both. The military-industrial complex and a world making money off bombing Yemen/Syria/Afghanistan/Iraq/Pakistan (Libya? Are we still bombing Libya? How shameful that I can’t even keep track of who we’re bombing?) International trade agreements that benefit the mass of Americans but pose a threat to continued progress, and whether backing away from the TPP would simply allow China to fill the void. Climate change. The fact that we are the only country on Earth still “debating” it as a theory. Nevermind, let’s not talk about that particular shard of shame. You get my point.
I’d rather talk about issues, because it would be better for the country. Coincidentally, it would be better for my candidate, since she has policies beyond “I’m incredible. Build a wall. Everything’s your fault and rigged. No. Obama founded ISIS.”
So, tomorrow evening, I’m going to try to hear about issues. Will I? Or will I hear periodic character attacks and frequent dialtones? Can’t wait to find out. And then, after a little dip of such demoralizing abuse….I’m going to go get some ice cream.
And maybe a bunker.