The proprietors of this site disagree on many, many things—it was founded on the basis of one of those disagreements—but one thing we do agree on is that every American should vote. We also happened to agree on a political candidate, and yesterday we chose to participate in the continuing democratic experiment that is America by canvassing for our choice, Barack Obama. We're both excited about the result of yesterday's election, and proud to have taken part in it. Doing is a very American trait—perhaps the ultimate American trait. We are a nation of doers.
Bright and early, we pulled the levers in New York and left for eastern Pennsylvania, crucial swing territory. We were assigned to a small town in the steel belt, between Bethlehem and Allentown, a beautiful area with fall folliage in full color. Driving through some of the picturesque Lehigh Valley towns, the idea of going door-to-Victorian-door seemed like it was going to be fun and easy. Not so fast. Turns out our assignment was to a less lovely area: a mobile home park just beneath a highway. As my partner noted, this was "leave no stone unturned" territory.
We got off to a slow start. Unpleasant looks. "I know who I'm voting for and I'm not telling you." Slam. A naked guy smoking and watching the "The Price is Right" in a trailer. At a house decked out with multiple flags and "USA" and "Support Our Troops" signs, I was told, with a snarl, "I don't vote." A bitter woman in her sixties told me "I don't have time for that shit" and that "Clinton should have won anyway." It was a relief to come upon my first Obama supporter, a handsome woman with short gray hair. "I already voted and if he doesn't win I'll never vote again because obviously it's a fix." That felt great, or at least it was a relief. Some observations: It seemed like everyone smoked. A nicer house, invariably, meant a nicer inhabitant—regardless of party affiliation. The development we visited was neat and orderly and well kept, though the homes themselves often had a large amount of junk lying around in their enclosed patios. The lovely old towns we drove through were surrounded by oceans of big box sprawl. It's very sad what's happened to this beautiful country.
We had 93 homes on our docket, and it wasn't until the final, 93rd house that we actually got someone to the polls. A grizzly trucker fellow—very nice—had recently moved in from a neighboring county, and wasn't sure where to vote. His live-in partner, an African-American woman and recent college grad, had just transplanted from Virginia, and wasn't sure what to do. He was proud of his suped-up Hummer and told us "I really want to vote for Obama." We called back to base to check on where he needed to go, and made sure he got the info. It was a great way to end the day. Every vote counts.
A few pictures from our day follow.
YF gets in the act too!
The Road to Victory.