Pick up a phone. If you've been wondering what you can do to help defeat W & Co, I highly recommend phone-banking with ACT. It's easy and it's really kind of fun. I went twice this week (once with Allan), and beginning next week I'll train other volunteers and "captain" a shift one or two nights each week.
Right now in New York, ACT is calling people in Ohio and taking a brief survey to identify undecided voters. Those people will then be specifically targeted by local canvassers.
The calls run the gamut, from staunch Bush supporters to vehement Bush haters, and many with mixed feelings. I've spoken to a lot of people who voted for Bush last time but are unhappy with him and unsure of how they will vote this time around. Yes!
You get the occasional oddball who voted for Gore but is now leaning towards Bush, but mostly it's the former W voters who are now on the fence. Their problem is definitely the war: why we went in the first place, why we are still there, what on earth are his plans to get us out. (Their words, "us". You know I don't speak that way.)
Last night I got my first truly wacky call. To question #1, what issue do you want to see the candidates focus on, what is the most important issue to you, this Ohioan said, "Getting rid of the Israelis." Sorry sir, I don't have a listing for genocide, can you name another issue?
No, I didn't really say that.
When I asked if he usually votes more Democrat or more Republican, he replied, "I'm an American, that means I vote Republican." I confess I lost a bit of my supposed nonpartisanship, and very politely suggested that one can be American and vote for any party. He promptly informed me, "My son is in the military, and he says everyone in the military is Republican, that Democrats don't enlist. To be an American, you have to be a Republican. Democrats are not Americans!"
Well, it was only one call. Not long after, a woman told me she'd vote for a tree stump if it were running against George W. Bush, and that made me feel much better.
And speaking of tree stumps, people simply cannot remember Al Gore's name. When asked who they voted for in the last presidential election, people either say Bush or... or... or... they stammer, trying to recall, who is that guy, what was his name? The other guy. The one that didn't win. I don't know, the Democrat. Lots of people say Clinton. I'm pleased to say a couple of people said, "The guy who really won." But most people I've spoken to cannot remember the name Al Gore. That's the Dems for ya, running the most forgettable candidate possible.
I have a few eBay auctions ending in a couple of minutes. I have to go click refresh.