What You Can Do
With the end of Obama’s giant half hour infomercial, the 2008 presidential marketing campaign is over. There isn’t time for either campaign to change the narrative of the race—voters know, or think they know, who the candidates are, and what they believe in. Barring a late breaking October Surprise, which almost certainly won’t come, what we see now is what voters will see on Election Day.
The narratives may be over, but the election isn’t, not by a long shot. Both sides can do a lot to change the results—but they will need your help.
There’s a lot you can do—phone banks, door-to-door walks, even attending campaign rallies can help the Republican cause. I have walked door-to-door for the past couple of weeks offering registered Republicans absentee ballots, which I assume is helpful, even though nobody really wanted them, and it seems to me that people already registered as Republicans as pretty safe votes already. But far be it from me to question the wisdom of the McCain campaign, and I did my best to help the campaign.
A common excuse for not volunteering (at least I think it’s a common excuse—I don’t pester people by telling them to volunteer for McCain in my daily life, so I don’t know from experience) is that volunteering takes too much time. It does take time—but then, if Obama is elected, the increase in time worked to pay off your higher taxes will increase dramatically, so it’s probably a good investment. And it’s not particularly hard work, and you get to meet like-minded, conservative people.
I know that many conservatives are quite willing to volunteer, but don’t much like the way the Republican party is heading and stay home. Which would be a perfectly good excuse, except that there are other candidates to volunteer for than John McCain. You’d be hard pressed to find no one on your ballot who agrees with you, and seemingly humble positions can end up being the start of greater things. Only five years ago, Barack Obama was humble State Senator. Now he’s close to the presidency.
That doesn’t happen often, of course, but lower level public officials do form the base of the Republican party, and their voices are heard. If you don’t like the direction of the GOP, there is no better way to change it than volunteering for a candidate you do like.
And, of course, perhaps the most important thing you can do is go out and vote. People don’t vote for a variety of reasons—lack of time, feelings of disenfranchisement (“one vote won’t matter”), unexpected family or business crisis’s. None of these is a good excuse. It rarely takes that long to vote, and it is well worth the time investment. And unexpected problem can usually be avoided with a bit of planning.
The disfranchisement mood is tricky, because it is party based on a truth—one vote won’t swing the election. But a large group of single votes will. And if you don’t vote, you really don’t have any right to complain about what you get.
To sum this post up: find good candidates, go volunteer, and go vote. Doing so will take time, and require sacrifices—but its for a good cause, and is well worth it.