Robert Saunders
October 2008
Don't just sit there
He's Presidential.
Are you tired of the Republican smear machine...of John McCain pandering to the right wing and saying anything to win the election...of speaking down to Barack Obama with references like "that one"... of calling Obama, a man of mixed race who under great obstacles lifted himself up by his bootstraps and went on to rise to the top of his class at the nation's most prestigious university, an "elitist" because he speaks well...of selecting a running mate who is totally unqualified to hold the office of Vice President of the United States? I am. We can affect the election. We have less than a month.
Last Friday I played a fundraiser for Barack Obama. During a break in the festivities, a local representative exhorted attendees to become active and join a bus tour leaving for New Hampshire the next morning to go door to door campaigning for Obama. My musician friend playing the gig with me declined the bus tour, but the next day I received an email from him which I reprint below for the benefit of any here who feel moved to get involved politically. If we do something, it will have an effect. If we do nothing and sit around we have only ourselves to blame for the country falling into the hands of John McCain and (ulp) Sarah Palin. It could happen. Let's not let it. Just a suggestion. Herewith, the words of my friend:
Dear Everyone,
Two nights ago I went to an Obama rally. The speaker, head of the Mass. Obama campaign, said, "If you think you can just go to your Tuesday night bridge club, your Wednesday night bowling league, and your Thurs night movie and expect a political change in this country, you're dead wrong."
So I've discovered a really easy way to volunteer. Just go to, and they will provide ways you can work in your own neighborhood or even from your own desk. I just made about 35 calls to voters in Ohio and New Hampshire, with phone numbers--and a script!--the website provided. I didn't even have to take off my bathrobe, which most of you know is what I usually wear around the house.
Does it matter? Here's a short story: Years ago, I lived in New Orleans when Louisiana tried to legalize gambling. (Of course, they succeeded.) I knew a progressive woman, Jackie Clarkson, on the city council who represented the swing vote. Like me, she adamantly opposed gambling. She was up for re-election in a couple of days, and her vote could turn the tide.  I thought, "What if I call 10 people and ask them to call 10 people, etc?"
I didn't do it. It was just an idea I could have done. Two days later, Clarkson lost the election by 27 votes.
So--do something!
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