A Labor Doorbelling Day

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Whoever invented “Labor Day” probably had door belling in mind. I say this because my feet are pretty much ordering me to do so. In fact, they’re reminding me that pounding the pavement with a state senate candidate qualifies as “labor.”

Know what else “door belling” qualifies as? Well, if you’re running for office and want to win, getting out and meeting people where they are can be very, very effective. The converse is also true.

Because I’m such a nice lady and all, I thought I’d give you a brief rundown on today’s door belling adventure with a candidate for state senate. I won’t even charge extra. No. Really. I won’t. (Offers of free raspberry white chocolate cheesecake still accepted. Just sayin’.)

It goes like this:

We started out meeting for coffee in Hoquiam at 8:30 this morning. Okay. So I don’t do coffee. Chocolate peanut butter oat bars are a different story. They’re to-die-for. I know this because my son, who took the “morning shift,” says so. He door-belled with the candidate till about noon. Came back to the house. Said “Danille’s over there by the library somewhere if you want to meet up with her.”

Gotta love Son Directions. So helpful.

So I chugged on over to the library-ish part of town. Met up with Danille Turissini coming down the sidewalk. Spent the rest of the afternoon door-belling like a million homes and apartment buildings. (Naw. Not really. It just felt that way. I know this because my feet say so.)

From the Porch

Anyway, here’s a “front porch” glimpse into the political landscape gleaned from walking like 9,000 miles today (it was actually only about four. In fact, it was 9,108 steps and eight separate flights of stairs, all told. Not that I’m counting or anything):

Hot Button Issues/Concerns

These are things we heard multiple times from the other side of the door (in no particular order):

  • How are you going to improve local schools?
  • What are you going to do to help the homeless?
  • Partisan bickering and gridlock
  • Wild Olympics
  • “Do you like Donald Trump?” or “Are you voting for Donald Trump?” This question/issue came up several times. Guess what? If the answer was in the affirmative, it resulted in a grimace and/or an immediate turn-off. Every. Single. Time.
  • Income inequality

“Grandpa Mike”

This last one was particularly interesting. It came from a guy we met standing outside his pick-up truck. He called himself “Grandpa Mike.” Let’s call him “GM” for short.

Good ‘ole GM was a Democrat’s Democrat. I mean, he put the “D” in Democrat. He was mad as h-e- double tooth picks at all those eeeevil, rich Republicans who’re just scheming and conniving to make themselves richer off the backs of the – sniff – poor, downtrodden, –sniff, sniff– working class.

GM informed us he “didn’t make enough to be a Republican.” He maintained that “you can’t be a Republican if you make less than $80K a year.” (I wanted to ask him what happens if you make $80,001 a year. I refrained. He was on a roll. I didn’t want to interrupt.)

He believed that it’s government’s job to take care of – sniff – pretty much everyone. All the time. (I wanted to smack him upside the head at this point. I refrained. I didn’t think it would do any good and it would probably damage my hand.)

While GM was getting all wound up about those evil, rich Republicans, he also blasted away at The Donaldus.  And all those rascally rich Republicans who are “just in it for themselves” and want to cut (government) programs for the poor.

I refrained from asking him about his party’s nominee and the Clinton Foundation.

How’d we address GM’s accusations? Simple. Like this: “Well, Mike, are you going to vote for Hillary?” Yes. “Well, isn’t she responsible for four dead Americans?” Cue hemming and hawing. “I’m not going to say you support four dead Americans if you vote for Hillary Clinton. Just like I’m not responsible for everything Trump says. That being said, let’s focus on the state senate race and state issues. Would you agree that there’s plenty there to keep us both busy?”

And by the way, GM, “aren’t we more likely to withstand the games and shenanagins and bad stuff coming out of D.C. if we have a strong, stable, fiscally responsible government at the state level? How would you like to help work on that? Then consider hiring me as your state senator. I’m not running  to march lock step with the party or represent party bosses. I’m running to represent you and your interests. What are they?”

Guess what? By listening, building bridges and refusing to take the partisan squabbling bait, Danille had a convert by the end of the conversation.

Additional Observations:

  • The words “Kevin Van De Wege” resulted in more grimaces than a bushel of green persimmons
  • Frustration with incumbents is running at fever pitch
  • The number of people who can’t/won’t/aren’t interested in voting in this town is like, wow.
  • The number of felons who can’t vote in this town is like, wow.
  • The number of folks who don’t know what district they live in is like… oh, never mind.
  • Um, no, government doesn’t “create jobs.” The private sector and entrepreneurs do.
  • Some people need to dress appropriately before answering the door.
  • Be real. Someone asks you a direct question, give ’em a direct, honest answer. Period.
  • It’s not that difficult. No. Really.

What stood out most? Comments like this, which we heard over and over: “”We’ve never had a politician come out here and talk to us like this before. You’re the first one.” One guy said, “I’ve lived here for 15 years. This is the first time I’ve ever seen any candidate for anything. Ever.”

Told you door belling works.

Note to self: Next time, lose the Nikes. Lace up the Redwings instead. I’ll let you know how that goes. Soon as a I regain feeling in my feet.