Saturday, October 02, 2004

How I Love My Country -- And That Means YOU

I love my country and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get George Bush out of office. This is how I loved my country today:

1. Nine a.m. meeting time to catch bus -- not enough sleep.
2. Spent 90 minutes on cramped school bus to southern Milwaukee (learned proper pronunciation of "Milwaukee" does not sound the "l").
3. Painful small talk with overenthusiastic fellow canvassers.
4. Consumed diet of pizza and pop before heading out to the neighborhoods.
5. Spent 30 more scenic minutes travelling to southeastern Milwaukee (no "l").
6. Three solid hours of canvassing was actually the fun part of the day. Met about 30 mostly nice Wisconsinites (?) by knocking on their doors and asking if they'll be supporting the Democratic ticket this year. No one was rude or argumentative. Some declined to state. Some said, "No," and we were done. Others said, "Yes" and even filled out the absentee ballot application I proffered.
7. Also fun: cute reporter from the Chicago Reader was covering today's effort and chose me (me!) to walk around with and observe. Fed ego and changed world at same time (he also offered to carry my bag and coat, so fed diva ego as well).
8. Water, must have water...
9. Bathroom, must have bathroom...
10. Spent 90 more minutes in cramped school bus back to Evanston.

Ultimately I'm damn glad I did it because every absentee ballot application we got is one more Kerry vote IN THE BAG. I got seven of 'em, oh yeah, signed and everything, but even canvassers who only got one or two or three felt satisfied because those applications added up to a pile of at least a hundred and it's those kinds of numbers that can turn the !$%&-ing election. Remember this is Wisconsin, the "swingiest of the swing states," and the state that some say will determine the winner of the election.

The entire world is watching this election. Unlike other countries, the United States' policies truly affect the whole planet and they are counting on us to boot this guy out of office. This is how we start re-building the international ties that Bush has ruined. And this isn't my usual drama and hyperbole, this is real. This election is one of the most critical in U.S. history and definitely the most important one of our lifeftimes. Never before has there been such a groundswell of grassroots activity. Republican and Democrat canvassers are truly battling for every vote in a ground war bigger than most states have ever seen. We are down to ONE MONTH LEFT. How can you NOT participate? Remember: the worst thing is not Bush winning; the worst thing is Bush winning and having to wonder if your apathy influenced it.

Sleep easy knowing you ARE doing everything you can:

REGISTER TO VOTE: I will personally strike any of my Illinois friends who aren't registered to vote by Tuesday, Oct. 5th. That's IT -- no more Illinois voter registration after this Tuesday! Register, dammit. Here's a link.

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EMAILS WITH EASY WAYS TO GET INVOLVED at www.johnkerry.com or Move On PAC (Political Action Committee).

WALK PRECINCTS IN WISCONSIN WITH ME! Contact NIKerryTravelers@yahoo.com or go to http://www.johnkerry.com/index.html and click on the "Become a Volunteer" option.

PHONEBANK: If you have a cell phone, you can help make calls to undecided voters from 3:00p to 5:00p on Sunday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 24 in Grant Park (SE corner of Randolph & Michigan). "Sunday in the Park WITHOUT George" is organized by Democracy for Illinois and the League of Conservation Voters. RSVP here and enter 60605 as the zip code OR contact reganburke@hotmail.com, 312-943-4859 OR just show up! Bring your cell phone, a pen and a lawn chair. Rain site: Pedway under Randolph St. station entrance.

DEBATE PARTIES: Watch the second presidential debate on Friday, Oct. 8 at a Debate Party. Find one to attend or host your own Debate Party. Go to www.johnkerry.com/events/ for details. Debate/House Parties are great for getting more people to volunteer and/or donate money and/or just educate themselves on the candidates.

ELECTION DAY, Tuesday Nov 2nd: Take the day off of work. We must make sure all Kerry-supporters actually VOTE. Countless organizations are organizing efforts to get all Kerry-voters to the polls on Election Day. Go to www.johnkerry.com or Move On PAC (Political Action Committee). Dick Durning is a Chicagoan organizing people to go up to Wisconsin on Election Day. Contact him at rdurning@aol.com.

GIVE MONEY: The Republicans have some of the wealthiest sources of cold hard cash, but we have the grassroots cashflow of millions of Democrats whose $50, $100 and hell $5 donations ADD UP. Contribute to Move On PAC or the Democratic National Committee.

MAKE SURE NO ONE CAN ACCUSE YOU OF NOT DOING EVERYTHING YOU COULD TO GET BUSH OUT OF OFFICE. I love this country. YOU love this country. Let's LOVE this country back into a Democratic administration! WHO'S WITH ME?

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