The Widdershins

Archive for October 16th, 2018

Hello Widdershins! This past Sunday, Mr. MadamaB and I went to an Indivisible GOTV event in San Francisco. I thought I’d share how it went with you.

The event was a postcard/letter writing party at a local bar. (It’s a fun place – Tommy’s Joynt.) It started out a bit rocky. We arrived on time, but as more and more people arrived, we were still waiting for the organizers. It turned out that there was a mix-up – we were supposed to have gone to another place (Standard Deviant – cute name, eh?), but never got the memo. As I quoted at the time, “I don’t belong to an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.”

Eventually we got in touch with one of the event’s leaders, and she came to Tommy’s with supplies in hand. She told us that while postcards are good, the data has shown, the letter is better!

The way it works is, you have a form letter with a few empty spots you fill in, for that personal touch. On Sunday, we were writing to registered Democrats in Florida who don’t typically vote in mid-term elections. (Yes, I know – Florida. These were residents of Miami and Miami Beach, so I think they had mailboxes – and houses.) At the bottom of each letter is a different addressee’s name and address, and we hand-addressed each salutation. The text of the letter is mostly filled in, and is encouraging and non-partisan.

It was up to us to write something personal after the sentence, “I vote in every election because…” and we couldn’t write things like, “I’m not a f*cking ingrate” or “I care what happens to this country, unlike you” or “You didn’t vote in 2016. The Mango Moron is your fault!” SIGH. They’re quashing my creativity! So I wrote two things, either “I am proud to live in a country where voting is my right and privilege” or “I want high-quality health care for everyone,” depending on my mood. Hubby wrote “the future of this nation is in our hands.”

At the bottom we signed our first names, and then we hand-addressed each envelope, hubby complaining all the way. (Yes, our hands got tired. Amazing how we’ve all gotten used to typing, right?)

I have to say, the whole experience was pretty great. We met some really nice people, including our tablemate who brought us a song to get us in the mood (she had written a version of “Swing Low” that went “Swing Left.”), and who told us she gets emails from conservative political operatives at Townhall, who are freaking out over the election. Another tablemate explained to us that she was originally from Missoula, Montana, and it’s a liberal place, and that Drumpf would NOT be welcome there. And she was right! He had to change the original location – hahahahaha.

The Bernie/Hillary divide did manifest itself a bit. There was a couple in their 30’s that came in and sat at a small table by themselves…eventually the woman started talking, and she said, “I think if everyone has a good education and health care, all our problems will be solved.”

Did I mention she and her husband were white and clearly well-off? And that they had self-identified earlier, in a shrugging and somewhat embarrassed way, as Bernie supporters?

When I heard that talking point, I couldn’t help weighing in. I mentioned that racism and sexism won’t be cured by the existence of universal health care (DUH), and that racism and sexism were key motivators for Trumpsters, and really, all Republicans now. Eventually the tension dissolved as I agreed with the point that early education, especially progressive education, can only help open peoples’ minds to other points of view. But man, these people can be thick!

Anyway, I can’t wait to do it again, and I highly recommend you go out and do something like it. It will really make you feel good, and it will do good too. We ended up, as a group, writing about 2500 letters in just a few hours. Not bad for a day’s work.

This is an open thread.

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