Going to Ohio

After going to that political campaign training, I mentioned to my friend Brian that I thought it was neat that many of the participants were planning to vote absentee in California, and head to a swing state for the election itself to help get out the vote. I didn’t think anything more of it until a couple days ago, when Brian said that he thought it was a good idea and he was going to fly to Ohio for the election, crash with our friend Rob in Oberlin, and do some volunteer work. I was kind of shocked. And then I thought to myself that I really had no reason not to do the same. I have some extra vacation time, I can afford the trip, and I’ve been kicking myself to get out and do stuff. So, the upshot is that Brian and I bought tickets last night for Cleveland. We’ll be there from the evening of Saturday October 30th through Wednesday after the election. We’re still working out exactly how we’re going to contribute, whether it’s through Kerry’s campaign, MoveOn or the local Oberlin effort. But we’ll figure something out. I think it’ll be good for me to get out and do something; at least I’ll know I made an effort, even if Bush wins.

Of course, I have to spend some time between now and then figuring out why I’m a Democrat, and why I support Kerry, so that I can articulate it to voters. That’s a post I’ve been playing around with for a while in my head, after the political training where one of the leaders asked that question to audience members: “Why are you a Democrat?” Nobody could articulate an answer on the spot. And it’s surprisingly hard to do concisely. My current best attempt at an answer, using his 27 words, 9 seconds, 3 phrases guideline is “I’m a Democrat because I believe in equal opportunity for all, equal rights for all, and that citizenship is not a right, it’s a responsibility.” I’ll expand on that more later, because understanding my motives is always interesting to me, and trying to figure out why I feel such an antipathy towards Bush that I’d vote for a small stuffed animal over him is a good question. But I think I’m written out for the evening.