Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Guest Post - Baldy in a Battleground - Episode 10

There is No Justice

So, Obama was visiting this battleground last week. It was all very exciting - huge crowd of people, completely forgetting everything Obama stands for and selfishly looking out for their own best interests and not those of the crowd.

Capitalists.

I had the very pleasant job of working the line. This involves a few tasks:

1. Checking people for homemade signs. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: No signs allowed, folks! If you brought a sign and you don't give it up now, the Secret Service will take it from you.

Mama for Obama: But look at this beautiful sign my daughter made. She worked so hard on it. Please?

Me: Sorry ma'am, I don't make the rules. No signs allowed.

Mama for Obama (to daughter): Sorry sweetie. This mean baldy says you can't bring in your beautiful sign. I guess Obama doesn't like art. Or children.

2. Making sure people fill out their tickets fully with name, address, phone, email, bank routing numbers, and mother's maiden name. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Tickets? Can I see your tickets? They must be filled out for you to get in.

Suspicious ticket holder: Why do I need to fill this out? I RSVP'd online with all this info.

Me: Well, we need to confirm that you showed up.

Suspicious ticket holder: You already have all my information. Can I just put in my name?

Me: Not if you want to get in. I'll need all of your information.

Suspicious ticket holder: The paper said that the rally was free and open to the public. I don't even understand why you handed out these tickets. And now you need all my personal info again? I don't understand.

Me: Well, I don't make the rules. Please fill out your ticket.

(The reason is, of course, so we can hit them up to volunteer.)

3. Hitting up people to volunteer, straight-forward like. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Only three weeks left to make a difference! Who is going to volunteer? I need people making calls and knocking on doors! Senator Obama is going to ask you to volunteer today. Who is going to sign up?

Rally attendee suddenly very interested in the view opposite from where I'm standing (thinking): Maybe if I look this way, baldy will go away.

Me: Sir, when can you volunteer for the campaign? Only three weeks left! We need your help.

Rally attendee "startled" from their reverie of the view opposite from where I'm standing: Oh! I didn't see you there! What now? Volunteer? I don't have time for that. Too busy. Way too busy. No free time. Not even one spare hour.

Me: Really? Because you seem to have 8 hours on a weekday to stand in line and wait to see the guy. I just need one hour a week for the next three weeks. And you won't have to be in a line full of cranky people on a hot day with anti-choice yahoos screaming at you from their dead baby truck.

4. Telling people to ignore the dead baby truck, and the crazed McCain supporter who has painted his truck with the names of the republican ticket, and the evangelists walking up and down the line asking why you hate God. This conversation goes like so:

Me: Folks, please ignore the dead baby truck. We're not here to engage in an argument with these people, which is what they want. Please ignore them.

Angry Obama supporter: But what they're saying isn't even true!

Me: I know, but a response from us validates them and we do not want to validate them, do we?

Angry Obama supporter: What does validate mean?

And so it went for hours. On my feet. In the heat. No water. No appreciation.

When the rally finally begins, I am sadly not inside. No, it seems I'm going to be stuck outside, hoping to catch a few words that will carry over the crowd.

This does not happen. I hear bits and pieces of Obama's speech - something about pie? - and then it's over. The same crowd that nearly ran me over to get in is now nearly running me over to get out.

*Sigh.* So much work and I don't even get to see Obama.

I'd invited someone to the rally who was visiting from out of town and who has not volunteered for the campaign at all. This person met up with me as the crowd dispersed. We'd been separated earlier in the day when volunteer tasks were being assigned.

He walks up and I get ready to hear his tales of rally-as-a-volunteer life. Instead, he says it was the most amazing experience of his life. He was placed on stage, and yes, shook the Senator's hand, as well as the hands of our governor and mayor. He doesn't even live in the state. Or in a battleground.

There is no justice.

I blame Bush. And McCain.

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