Project 52, Week 36 — Making an Important Choice

I had mentioned last week that I was going to discuss the book The Art of Choosing in this week’s blog entry, but because of circumstances and a heavy work load this past week I have not yet finished the book. I’d rather wait until I’ve completed it to give my impressions and share some of the conclusions I will have reached as a result.

But I do want to talk about choice, a specific choice, which will be coming up soon for all of us here in the U.S., but which many people may forgo. I am talking about voting on November 6th; this is a very important election for all of us, and will determine the country’s direction for some time to come. We need to make the choice as to what kind of country we want this to be, and every vote is important. Starting today, and each weekend until the election, I will be calling registered voters on behalf of the President to urge them to be sure to vote and not let apathy keep them from casting their ballots.

I first became involved in a political campaign in 1970 when, at age 16, two friends and I volunteered to help elect John J. Gilligan as Governor of Ohio. We were too young to vote ourselves, but we cheerfully wore green banners and straw hats and passed out leaflets, encouraging people to vote for then-candidate Gilligan (who went on to win and did become Governor of Ohio). It was an exciting time and we felt gratified to have a part in the campaign. Then in 1974 I became involved in the campaign of Charles “Pug” Ravenel for Governor of South Carolina. I typed memos and answered phones in the campaign office, went door-to-door and talked to people about the candidate and urged them to vote. In this case, Mr. Ravenel was disqualified late in the campaign due to seemingly not having met the state’s 5-year residency requirement and therefore did not complete his run, but up until that point it was a gratifying experience.

After that, although I voted and encouraged others to do so, I didn’t become involved in another campaign until 2008. I decided at this point I wanted to become a part of history, and volunteered to make phone calls to get out the vote. I enjoyed doing this, as I like talking with people, and it was truly an eye-opening experience, mainly because of the misinformation and outright lies people were choosing to believe about then-candidate Obama. I spoke with many people in my area and was floored to discover that these college-educated folks persisted in choosing to believe some emails they’d received with this misinformation, rather than checking out the facts for themselves. I lived in a heavily Republican district at that time and felt rather like a salmon swimming upstream during the campaign, though Florida did go for President Obama that year.

I hadn’t planned on becoming involved in the campaign this time around, but because of a growing realization of how pivotal this election is, I felt I had to volunteer. I now live in a heavily Democratic area and my state will very likely go for the President, so most of my calling will be to registered voters in swing states, such as Florida and Ohio, to strongly encourage them to make sure they cast their ballots. If you are a registered voter in the U.S., VOTE!

(Note:  I do not plan to become involved in a political debate in this blog, so comments that are intended to start one will be deleted)

5 thoughts on “Project 52, Week 36 — Making an Important Choice

  1. i am English but still have an opinion.Your blog as always was well written , It was my article recently printed in the Biggleswade Chronicle I wanted u to read , and give real criticism.I like ur article and it was awesome is no good to me.Like so many u get.

    • I wasn’t aware you were asking for an actual critique; your request said simply that I should check out your article, which I did, and yes, it was awesome. What I would recommend to you is to find a professional writer to hire for a critique, or join a writing group, where you will get honest feedback on your writing. I recently paid a writer, who is a friend of mine, to critique a chapter of a book I’m working on; I wouldn’t have asked her to do it for free, as her time is valuable. So hiring someone is your best bet.

  2. What a wonderful essay! I’m so glad it was posted on fb for me to find. My nephew (a super bright and wonderful twenty something) recently moved to Ohio and is one of our nation’s unemployed college grads. He has volunteered to work on the Obama Campaign! And in Ohio, no less. I am very proud of both him and you, Patricia!

    • Thank you! That’s great that he’s volunteered! I was calling people in Ohio today and was surprised at how many people are still undecided. There’s so much work to do between now and the election!

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