Friday, October 24, 2008

From the Front Lines Part III

Yesterday I was working in a heavily African-American Neighborhood. I knocked on the door of an 84 year old guy.

ZT: "Mr. Williams?"
Mr. Williams: Yes, who are you?
ZT: My name is Zach, I work the union...
MW: Of course, I'm supporting Obama. Look around. Everyone on my block is supporting Obama, everyone on the next block is supporting Obama, come to think of it, everyone in the neighborhood is supporting Obama, and quite frankly, young man, since you're supporting him, you could move in on my block too.
(I mark him down as a supported. there is no place to note the fervency.)

Today I got up awful early and went to the Water Department and leafleted outside the rear entrance. They had tons of cool equipment laid out, pipes, manhole covers, huge trucks with enormous pumps of various sorts, etc. It would have been heaven for me when I was 7 and obsessed with heavy machinery. I talked to a bunch of folks. One lady told me " 'course i am not voting for McCain. Guy can't do anything right. He is famous for crashing his damn plane. What kinds of skill does that take. If I crashed my truck would people elect me President? I don't think so. I'd get fired."

I talked to another guy who was worried about taxes and thought Obama would raise them. I explained that it was only if he was making more than $250,000 and otherwise he'd be better off with BHO. He said "cool, then I'm in."

Today I was working in a mostly Irish-American neighborhood. Herman and I knocked on the door which was listed as having two women, one 60 or so the other 80. After a minute, a woman (Mary) answered. She had an oxygen feed going and lots of surgical scars. We asked who she was supporting.
M: I'm, uh, err, undecided.
ZT: Are their specific issues which are important to you? Anything that you may have heard that I can respond to.
M: (looks around cautiously). We are in lots of trouble as a nation and I am basically going to vote for Obama. We need change. The Republicans have really gotten us into trouble. It's bad.
ZT: (nodding along).
M: My mom is very sick, probably dying, and a staunch Republican.
ZT: Sorry to hear that she is ill.
M: She says "I am heading out but I'm still voting for McCain." I (Mary) say "Mom, think of the rest of us, vote Democratic."
ZT: (keeps nodding).
M: I tell my girls, we know who we are voting for, just don't tell grandma she'll get ornery. I said undecided before because I thought Mom was in the living room. We're for Obama. Don't worry.
ZT: Thank you ma'am. That was very inspiring.


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