Monday, October 30, 2006

"Don't give up on anyone."

Everybody you work with, everybody you meet in a diner, eveybody you meet in the street, if you are in a bowling league, everyone you worship with on sunday, whatever, don't give up on anybody.

- Bill Clinton at Hacock Airport, last week.

Readers of this blog probably know Bill Clinton's advice. He wants us to work on convincing Republicans and Independants to vote Democrat this election.

I've run into two profiles of votors who can be turned. Lets call them the cynical young adult, and the old-school Republican.

My sister in law's mother comes from the later camp. She lives in a conservative, relatively ritzy Syracuse suburb. A wife of a lawyer, she has always voted Republican. Her demeanor is indeed conservative- think Laura Bush meets the Finger Lakes. She is wary of city crime. She drives a long comute to work. She reads allot of fiction. And she is voting Democrat. Why?

Because my sister in law talked to her about Iraq. They had long discussions about how we went into the war, how it has progressed, and how Bush is using terrorism as a political football. She was not impressed with Walsh's disinterested, follow-the-leader approach to the subject.

Eventually, the facts won her over.

Another example. An aquaintence of mine works as a cashier in a convenience store. She just turned 18. Although she is registered, she is deeply cynical about politics. She brushes aside any suggestion of voting, saying "I don't get involved in that stuff". She hates negative commercials and protests by shutting her ears to all politcs. She has completely distanced herself from that world.

I have not gotten through to her, but in the conversations we had, I tried to tell her about how badly Iraq has gone. And how the Republican's likely next nominee, John McCaine, has advocated sending more troops to Iraq, as have conservative inteligensia (such as Bill Krystal of the Weekly Standard). And how one of the key figures of the Vietnam (Kissenger) is advising Bush. What their logic leads to is a draft, because the Army is already overstretched. I also mention to her about stem cell research. Her Grandmother might be helped by the research. And how the Republicans are dominated by evangelists, who bare more resemblance to the Taliban then they dare admit.

I'm going to keep bugging her.

Clinton's point is, we can be volunteering for Dan whenever we bump into anyone, in our day to day lives. And thats what I urge readers to do this week, every chance you get.

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