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H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 03:51 PM Apr 2016

Insurgents

“Share your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into your house;
When you see the naked, cover him…..
Then shall your light break forth like dawn
And your healing shall spring up speedily”
-- Isaiah; 58: 7-9


Two of my cousins and I spent several hours this morning and afternoon, going door-to-door in Binghamton, NY, campaigning for Bernie Sanders. We joined with the effort that Citizens Action was coordinating. It was the first time that one of my cousins has done this; he has been involved in politics primarily through the carpenters’ union, and a few “local” environmental and social justice issues.

The other cousin has worked with me on local, state, national, and international issues for over 40 years. Thus, he has gone door-to-door with me dozens of times over the years. The three of us together made for a fun, effective campaign unit. More, while campaigning for Bernie, we were also advocating for other progressive candidates.

Per usual in upstate New York, the weather kept flip-flopping between pleasant and a bitter cold, complete with wing and mixed precipitation. The residents who opened numerous doors for us noted that they admired our dedication, to be outside walking the streets on such a day.

I selected a section of the city where both low-income and college students reside. Other groups were selecting the neighborhoods that might tend to get more attention during campaign season. My cousins were happy to let me decide what neighborhood we would venture into. And I have always been most comfortable with those marginalized by our society.

In times past, I have had associates ask me why I opt to invest as much time as I do in efforts to organize the poor. In fact, I’ve actually had well-intentioned associates tell me that I “waste” too much time on “those people.” But “those people” are my people. Indeed, I have had the opportunity in my life to hang out with rich and powerful people and power and seemingly powerless people -- and everything in between. I identify with the poor and marginalized. It’s as simple as that.

Our results were interesting and encouraging. There were, of course, a lot of folks on the latest record of registered voters there who had moved since the 2014 elections. This is to be expected among both the poor and college student populations. But there were also new residents, who will be participating in the Democratic Primary.

We also stopped in an old dinner, and did some campaigning as we had coffee and/or lunch. The owners of that dinner seemed amused, at first, that we set up a temporary “headquarters” in one of the booths; by the time we were preparing to leave, they were openly supporting our effort to get the vote out for Bernie.

Even within the two sub-groups we spoke with -- the poor and college students (including poor college students) -- we encountered a wide variety of people. Some were old, some were young; both male and female; a variety of skin colors; and on and on. While we were not attempting a scientific survey -- and the results are thus important in the limited context of one large neighborhood -- listening to the residents’ points of view proved worth-while. Two people stated that they might eventually vote for Donald Trump in the general election. One person said he avoids politics altogether, because he is convinced the last “honest” presidential candidate was Ronald Reagan. And only two people stated that they may vote for Hillary in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Other than that, everyone we spoke with was strongly supporting Bernie Sanders. And while this is only speculation on my part, I suspect that they are not among those being polled these days. Today, their voices are not being heard outside of the Sanders campaign. Yet, the Sanders campaign holds the promise of them being heard in the future.

The three of us are all old men. We have each been a registered Democrat since we reached the age where we could vote. But, to a large degree, our lives are behind us. We weren’t campaigning so much for ourselves and our generation’s benefit, as for our children and grandchildren’s generations. And for those who are to come after them.

Still, we had an amazing day. One of my two cousins is the man who was in court one county away during much of the week, for the trial of the guy who shot him, and murdered his son. It was his first time going door-to-door. I had been designated as our spokesman, but I was happy when he took over being our main speaker at several houses. My other cousin was surprised , considering how effective the other one was, that this was his first time.

Both this evening and tomorrow, we will all be working for the Sanders campaign. Each of us will be focusing on our hometowns, and preparing for Bernie’s speech on Monday in Binghamton. I know that Hillary is favored in New York, and I understand why. Still, I believe that the “experts” are going to be surprised by the eventual outcome in our state.

There is an energy force, gaining strength here. There are people who not only want change, but who are willing to work hard to bring that change about. On the ride home, my cousin asked me if I thought that our effort today actually made a difference in the that eventual outcome? I said that I did. Even today, from that small office of Citizens Action, there were lots of people volunteering to canvas different parts of the city. No one group -- much less, individual -- did “the” one thing that will decide the primary election. At the same time, every group and every individual were combining to take one of the most important actions that we can, to influence the outcome of the election contest. And true social justice can only come about by this type of active engagement in politics.

Peace,
H2O Man

52 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Insurgents (Original Post) H2O Man Apr 2016 OP
K&R cyberswede Apr 2016 #1
Thank you. H2O Man Apr 2016 #16
Peace kgnu_fan Apr 2016 #2
Monday. H2O Man Apr 2016 #17
K & R pdsimdars Apr 2016 #3
Thank you. H2O Man Apr 2016 #18
thanks for your post. I appreciate it. nt antigop Apr 2016 #4
Thanks. H2O Man Apr 2016 #19
Thanks for this and all you do. Scuba Apr 2016 #5
Thank you. H2O Man Apr 2016 #20
... Xipe Totec Apr 2016 #6
Outstanding! H2O Man Apr 2016 #21
Recommended. mmonk Apr 2016 #7
Thanks! H2O Man Apr 2016 #22
Thank you for BEING THE BERN! Avalon Sparks Apr 2016 #8
Thank you! H2O Man Apr 2016 #23
Your posts (& you!) are a bright light. RiverLover Apr 2016 #9
Thanks! H2O Man Apr 2016 #24
Peace wezl Apr 2016 #10
Thanks, wezl ! H2O Man Apr 2016 #25
Thanks H2O Man! redwitch Apr 2016 #11
Thanks, Friend! H2O Man Apr 2016 #26
It seems miraculous, given how uninformed most voters seem to be, that Bernie has made it this far. Gregorian Apr 2016 #12
Right. H2O Man Apr 2016 #31
K&R. ms liberty Apr 2016 #13
Thanks. H2O Man Apr 2016 #34
It seems that Bernie has out performed the polls in nearly every state so far hootinholler Apr 2016 #14
Good point. H2O Man Apr 2016 #35
Thanks for this post dreamnightwind Apr 2016 #15
Thank you. H2O Man Apr 2016 #36
Thanks so much for reaching out to NY voters! Research shows that the positive affect for a JudyM Apr 2016 #27
Right. H2O Man Apr 2016 #38
Thank you for your dedication. Inspiring! highprincipleswork Apr 2016 #28
Thanks. H2O Man Apr 2016 #39
K&R, and THANK YOU! dchill Apr 2016 #29
Thank you! H2O Man Apr 2016 #40
Thank you, H20 Man. democrank Apr 2016 #30
Thanks! H2O Man Apr 2016 #41
This message was self-deleted by its author cyberpj Apr 2016 #32
Thanks! H2O Man Apr 2016 #43
You Sensitive soul Apr 2016 #33
"I, Patrick, H2O Man Apr 2016 #45
Low self esteem does not the evidence show that "Patrick" did much to help others and was kind. Sensitive soul Apr 2016 #52
Kicked and recommended. Uncle Joe Apr 2016 #37
Thanks, Uncle Joe! H2O Man Apr 2016 #46
Good job! Hydra Apr 2016 #42
Thanks, Hydra! H2O Man Apr 2016 #47
Keep up the Good Fight! Octafish Apr 2016 #44
It's interesting. H2O Man Apr 2016 #49
What you encountered pretty much is what I run into out there. hobbit709 Apr 2016 #48
Exactly! H2O Man Apr 2016 #50
K&R Kurovski Apr 2016 #51

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
19. Thanks.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:09 PM
Apr 2016

It's been a good day. I am very much tired out -- from the week -- but am mighty happy this evening.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
20. Thank you.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:16 PM
Apr 2016

I love going door-to-door.

A while back (well before this Democratic primary) a friend and I were going door-to-door in what is an upper-middle class neighborhood in a town not far from Binghamton. We had information on some toxic industrial waste dump sites in the town. Three guys wanted to initiate fist-fights with me. (Well, they pretended they wanted to.) It upset my friend. However, since then, I convinced him to run for a local public office. I ran his campaign, and he won by one vote!

I liked the people at Citizen Action. Having that many volunteer teams hitting the streets was cool, too.

RiverLover

(7,830 posts)
9. Your posts (& you!) are a bright light.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:13 PM
Apr 2016

H20 Man. You are appreciated!

Thanks also for going out & giving your time for the progressive movement & Bernie. You're truly a gift!

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
24. Thanks!
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:23 PM
Apr 2016

I think that, when it comes to local political organizing and action, I must have some type of obsessive-repulsive disorder. Sometimes are more fun than others. The Sanders revolution is one of the most pleasurable that I can recall.

Gregorian

(23,867 posts)
12. It seems miraculous, given how uninformed most voters seem to be, that Bernie has made it this far.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:36 PM
Apr 2016

On one hand your diner transitioned from disbelief to acceptance. Then others seem to be uncertain who to vote for. But I think it's that people don't know WHAT to vote for. After all, is there any form of feedback that holds the government to standards, which Americans can easily access, and trust? That exists in social media now, but that's not mainstream.

Bless you for taking the effort to get out the word. I'm learning here. What I hear is that when you go out and do what you did, you have fun.

So this is rural New York. Interesting peek into that slice of demographic.

I see the motivation. What you're doing is outstanding. You've brought warmth. As I read this, I was imagining those people telling others, and sending a cascade of Bernie support.

And thanks for sharing this with us. I watch, and hopefully learn.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
31. Right.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:32 PM
Apr 2016

There is a whole wide spectrum of voters, and potential voters, out there. Within that, a person could come to think that they are either alone, or in a tiny minority, out there by themselves.

Indeed, the media has, for generations, attempted to portray things political as being limited to a tiny range: Democrats versus republicans. Today, of course. the evidence of conflicts within each party are too intense for the media to ignore. And the internet allows people to connect with other like-minded folks across the country.

For me, going door-to-door is a blast. If I have any talent in politics, it would be canvasing.

ms liberty

(8,702 posts)
13. K&R.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:49 PM
Apr 2016

Thank you, and your cousins - I would love to see Bernie do well in NY, but to win it? I'd be over the moon happy!

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
34. Thanks.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:30 PM
Apr 2016

I think that there may be a divide between upstate and downstate in the Democratic primary.And that includes the upstate college student population. I've had several calls from students, regarding sending in their absentee ballots, this evening - night.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
14. It seems that Bernie has out performed the polls in nearly every state so far
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 05:32 PM
Apr 2016

I agree the polls are mis-sampled these days, but they are good enough to judge trends.

I think at this point we need to also speak about holding the coalition together in the long term. It is rare for a coalition to acheive what Bernie has on the first try. Should he not gain the nomination it means we have to work on the down ticket elections to get the changes we need. Perhaps form the Berdie Coalition.

dreamnightwind

(4,775 posts)
15. Thanks for this post
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:04 PM
Apr 2016

and for your work for Bernie and progressive change. Also very well written, as always!

JudyM

(29,402 posts)
27. Thanks so much for reaching out to NY voters! Research shows that the positive affect for a
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:25 PM
Apr 2016

candidate after this type of face to face contact extends to more than 1 extra person beyond each one you spoke with. It totally matters!

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
38. Right.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:35 PM
Apr 2016

Grass roots activism is both important and enjoyable. Obviously, there are some frustrations along the way. And some disappointments. But it extends further, as you note, than we may be aware of.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
39. Thanks.
Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:40 PM
Apr 2016

I've been enjoying campaigning for Bernie, as much as for any of the candidates that I've actively supported. I invest more energy on local-to-the House & Senate campaigns (in total) than to presidential contests. But this year is far more important than those past, and this candidate offers the very real potential for real change in our country.

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
43. Thanks!
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:17 AM
Apr 2016

I remember when that movie came out. It appeared, to me, to be a modern version of the esoteric tale of "the hero's journey." It was not really different from the ancient stories. It was common ground between the past and present.

I like to see the combined strength of various groups joining together today, and finding common ground within the Sanders revolution. It's impressive that this one elderly US Senator understood the need for him to step up, and give voice to a large collection of people who have been denied a voice for so long.

We can see that our opposition has taken note of this change in the force. At present, they do not want to join us upon the common ground that offers the best potential for all people. But, in time, they will.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
45. "I, Patrick,
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:24 AM
Apr 2016

a sinner, quite uncultivated and the least of all the faithful, and utterly despicable to many ...." -- St. Patrick's Confessio

Sensitive soul

(71 posts)
52. Low self esteem does not the evidence show that "Patrick" did much to help others and was kind.
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 02:15 PM
Apr 2016

And I went about among you, and everywhere for your sake, in danger, and as far as the outermost regions beyond which no one lived, and where no one had ever penetrated before, to baptize or to ordain clergy or to confirm people. Conscientiously and gladly I did all this work by God's gift for your salvation.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
46. Thanks, Uncle Joe!
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:25 AM
Apr 2016

I've got to rest these old bones today, in hopes of making it to Bernie's rally tomorrow.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
49. It's interesting.
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:39 AM
Apr 2016

The Democratic Party is strong in our state. But it is not always unified, and unfocused strength isn't often a safe bet.

Hillary's re-election to the US Senate was an overwhelming victory. But things have changed over the years, from when she first ran, and when she was re-elected. Even within the organized party, there are differences between, say, the urban, suburban, and rural areas in NYS.

What is fascinating to me is that there are lots of people who are registered to vote, who have not made up their minds yet. If they vote for Hillary, she will have a comfortable victory. If they go for Bernie, it will be mighty close.

These old bones are too tired and sore to hit the streets today. But the telephone allows me the ability to continue with my campaigning for Bernie. The rally is tomorrow, and then another week to keep on fighting that Good Fight.

Note: The internet also comes in handy, as far as communicating with students on upstate colleges & universities!

hobbit709

(41,694 posts)
48. What you encountered pretty much is what I run into out there.
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:34 AM
Apr 2016

The marginalized have hope for Bernie and know that Hillary or the Republicans will just screw them over once again.

H2O Man

(73,994 posts)
50. Exactly!
Sun Apr 10, 2016, 10:03 AM
Apr 2016

Poor people might not have extensive formal educations, but they are not dumb. They simply have had a different type of education. Poor people do not have access to the political power that big money grants, but they are not powerless. With Bernie, they recognize that there is a presidential candidate who actually advocates for them. And it's the first time since RFK in 1968, and Jesse Jackson in the 1980s, that a candidate with the potential to win our party's nomination, that this has happened.

More, Bernie's campaign highlights that the shrinking middle class has more in common with the poor, than with the wealthy. It makes far more sense for the middle class to break bread with the poor, than to hope for crumbs from the opulent wealthy.

That is real power. It is of more value than $21 million in speaker's fees from Wall Street.

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