First let me start by saying that I am not a brave person. I have always been envious of those people that could just grab a clipboard and charge into a neighborhood to talk to complete strangers about the most uncomfortable of subjects: politics.
I have made half-hearted promises to canvass with people before, but my anxiety always outweighed my desire to be one of those brave people. So, you can imagine how surprised I was yesterday, when I found myself driving to a local café to meet with other volunteers. I had actually gathered my courage and I was going out canvassing for the first time.
I was so nervous. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be paired with a veteran canvasser who was happy to show me the ropes (thanks, Amber)! After getting our instructions, we drove off toward our assigned area.
We pulled into the neighborhood not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best! We parked and went to our first door.
An older lady opened the door and Amber introduced us. Right away, the lady raised her hand to us and said “We’re with Trump!” Amber was unruffled. So, I followed her lead. We just smiled and said “Have a nice day!” as she closed the door in our faces.
Believe it or not, our first door was our worst door. That was as bad as it got. Not so scary, right?
The fact that we had survived our first Trump supporter without a scratch bolstered my confidence immeasurably! She wasn’t even mean. Maybe I could do this!
In fact, I had a good time doing it. We talked to lots of other people, some more interested than others, but everyone met us with a smile.
It may come as a shock, but some people didn’t even know there was a primary coming up! They were glad to be reminded and most made some sort of commitment to vote.
Some folks knew about the primary, but they were still undecided about which candidate they liked best. (And that’s okay!) It was reassuring to hear so many folks say “We’re definitely voting Democratic!” because in South Carolina, it’s easy to feel like the only Democrat around.
Knocking doors reinforced for me that there are so many more Democrats here than people know. And I think it does the same for those whose doors we knock on. They see that there are people that think like them, even in ruby red South Carolina.
️All of the conversations we had were friendly and provided a great opportunity to talk about the issues that were important to people.
It was also a great chance for us to reinforce how important it is for everyone to vote, even in the primaries.
Amber says that we have to be comfortable talking about Democratic principles, and be able to️ tell people how great it is to be a Democrat. Otherwise, how will they know?
So next weekend you will find me out knocking doors again, talking to folks about Democracy. We talk about healthcare and education, foreign policy and civil rights, climate change and immigration. But most of all, we talk about how important every single vote will be if we are to win in November.
Every single time I push myself to engage my fellow Democrats, I am glad I did. I enjoyed canvassing, against all odds. I hope you will try it too. Be brave and have fun!
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