Canvassing in MI and NC
This year I canvassed in MI before the primary and in NC last week. I don’t like canvassing, it’s boring and tiring, but you do meet some interesting people and see things you would not otherwise see. A few observations.
Many people seem to be *deeply* isolated. One woman said she could not open the door. I wasn’t sure if she was disabled or scared. A lot of people do not have doorbells, or their doorbells are broken. That shocked and saddened me. It sure didn’t seem like they have lots of friends coming over and people just bang on the door to get in.
In many places you could see McMansions and some pretty grim houses and apartments a few blocks apart.
I met a fair number of black voters who were either Trump curious or so angry at the political system they were not going to vote. Mostly men, but a few women too. The anger some voters expressed was shocking in its intensity.
I met a young man, black, recently released from prison. He wanted to vote but thought it was illegal for an ex-felon. I explained to him that a court recently ruled that ex-felons can vote in NC. We talked for quite a while – he really wanted to vote – but he had seen film clips from Florida of ex-felons being arrested for voting, and he quite understandably didn’t want to go back to prison. He called his parole officer, who turned out not to know if he could vote (wtf – ed). I offered to take him down to the Board of Elections, which was right next to the library where he could have registered and early voted, but he decided to wait and talk to his parole officer the next day. If he did finally vote, my guess is he voted Republican, but he spoke obliquely about this. A white ex-felon believed me when I told him he could vote.
Rationally, I know that most voters know very little about politics and current affairs, but the extent to which this is true always surprises me. A co-canvasser and I talked to an older woman who had never voted before and wanted to not vote for Trump but didn’t know what that meant or how to do it.
Despite canvassing in democratic neighborhoods, I didn’t see any BLM signs, but I saw quite a few “we support our local police” type signs. I also saw a few rainbow signs and “anybody welcome here” type signs. There are a lot of nontraditional living arrangements. In many communities people are very transient.
welcome to the real world–that’s not snark. i don’t know how mny or what percentage of people live isolated from other people and ignorant of the subjects of politics, or just afraid of the cops [those “we support our police” signs may be to give them an extra second when the cops come in guns blazing], but in my world there are lots of them.
i don’t think you or i will fix this in lots of lifetimes, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind when hating on people you (not you, kramer, but some of us you’s) don’t know or know anything about.
hate to say this to this audience, but there was a time when people went to church maybe not so much to hear “the word of the lord” but to get to know their neighbors and even help them from time to time. but us progressives in our wisdom have ceded “the church” to the haters, who no doubt prey on the superstitious hope of people, but at least allow them that hope while teaching them to vote for their candidates.
The church ended itself.
Yep, that’s the way to think about it. got us this far, didn’t it.
I do not disagree with your analysis about a lot of people being in silos although I think organized religion is just another silo and one where diverse viewpoints are not welcome at least that has been my limited experience. I guess I do not think that things have changed too much except the parties have flip flopped their constituents. 150 years President Grant opined that the next civil war will be “ between the patriotic and intelligent on one side and the superstitious, ambitious and ignorant on the other.”
I assume you are addressing me.
there are silos and there are silos. living alone is a silo. a church is almost by definition a congregation, from which people draw support, emotional and practical. churches are not always healthy or even nice. but neither are they always evil or even “superstitious” (my take on Jesus, is that he was against superstition)…or necessarily ignorant. As for ambition, you need to look to Harvard for that.
Anyway, my point was not that you need to join a church and become ignorant and superstitious. It was that we fine intelligent and oh so not superstitious, have ceded the churches…no sign that they have ended… to the “right”… and, of course, that those churches are a place where people escape the silos of loneliness and find hope and solace… and sometimes become victims of the ambitious people who prey on that need and take advantage of that spirit of congregation which can be led toward good or evil.
anyway, it’s too late to worry about it. we already lost that opportunity.
i was replying to you and I very much respect your viewpoints on any number of points, but I still get extremely frustrated at the notion that we can not rely on logic and intellect to solve real issues. My failing I guess.
we have no choice but to rely on logic, but we need to be aware that “logic” can be a trap. all you have to do is pay attention to the people who disagree with you but are convinced that they are the logical one.
if you are suggesting that “religion” is not logical, i think you are confusing people who are “religous” and not logical with religion as a serious concern about how to live a sane life, in a community, informed perhaps by seriously logical (too logical in my opinion) people who believed that “things seen” are not the whole story.
don’t worry about it. it’s a topic i need to leave alone, as there is no chance that people who don’t agree with me will suddenly change their minds.
[but yes, i agree that what comes out of the “christian right” is nonsense, worse than nonsense. but when you say “religion” and you mean “all religion” you are making the same kind of mistake as people who say “all blacks are…”
you are not failing.. or it is not your failing
you are just as good as the rest of us. it’s only a matter of perspectives.
Many in Black neighborhoods support the police and don’t want to defund them. Defund the police is one of the dumbest political slogans ever coined.
yes. but some do not.
“Defund the police” is a dumb slogan. Even I saw that right away. But the police—maybe not all of them– have become in this country an unaccountable “gang” or “militia” which need to be brounght under control. Hopefully the contol of the people, and not just the bosses.
Judging by the reactions within Black neighborhoods in Chicago, they do want reform of the police but they definitely want them in the neighborhoods. Their alderpersons complain that their neighborhoods are under staffed. This seems to be true in other cities as well with the possible exceptions of Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN.
I think that’s right. But I think they should insist that the police in their neighborhoods come from those neighborhoods. And they need an honest citizens oversight board to weed out those cops who like to beat people up, and those prosecutors who overcharge in order to get plea bargains, and those judges who don’t listen because they’ve heard it all before.
maybe even a regular “one phone call” office to really listen to stories of abuse, investigate them, and know how to get redress where warranted.
I don’t disagree with the reforms and policies you suggest but I continue to maintain that the slogan we’re discussing does more damage than good in the electoral context. We’re losing Black and Hispanic voters in part because of the policing issue and also because they are much more conservative socially than other traditionally Democratic voters are. Ryan is demonstrating the truth that a more traditional pitch to rural and blue collar voters is more likely to be successful.
you get no argument from me about that. I haven’t heard that sslogan much recently, and I don’t think I ever heard ir from a Democrat that wasn’t a “progressive.”
it’s a pity though, there are lots more serious things affecting all of us of whatever color persuasion than a slogan spoken in anger a year ago. But the R’s will probably ride it to victory.
Frankly, I think the game is rigged.
what we need to do is what the R’s did, or had done to them. but we will need to do it without funding from big oil. and we will be working against the current of human nature when led by psychopaths.
I think we need to say it how it is; not just what we want to do but what they are threatening. Can you imagine blue collar and rural voters cheering on someone who wants to scuttle social security, medicare, and medicaid? The price of gas may be a problem, but loss of medical care and the retirement help of social security is serious shit!
So I am an old man who has fled Indiana for rural Wisconsin to absorb the election results with the aid of more than one cocktail. My dog is with me so I am not drinking alone. As an almost life time Wisconsin resident, I see the hardcore GOPers being people who have always voted Republican and probably because of the usual issues: taxes, crime, fighting communism now socialism etc. then there are the folks Who pay no attention to issues but will vote for the Republicans just to make the Libs cry even if it means cutting off their nose to spite their face. And of course they are fed misinformation by Russian bots and Fox News
yes. and they were that way a hundred years ago. the difference is that this time some very bad people grabbed the ring in their nose. Back then they had a Roosevelt or LaFollet to lead them to safe pastures.
glad you have a dog for company. my daughter rescued a giant hound and gave him to me for company. he is bigger than me so we are still working out who is boss. he has the advantage because i never wanted to be a boss.
We have relatives up there who don’t seem willing to acknowledge the danger to the programs they rely on. Is that your experience as well?
they acknowledge the danger. they blame it on the government. stole all the money, you see. The R’s will preserve and protect the program. You know they will. They say so. They’ll do it by cutting benefits. And they’ll sell your raxes to private enterprises, which we all know do a better job than government.