Power of the Phone for the Resistance

IMG_2396I love a good march. Love the camaraderie and sense of power. But yesterday I learned what some of the harder work is. It’s making the phone calls, talking to people one on one.  I joined Code Blue for a phone bank yesterday calling for democrats in Connecticut.  Especially since I live in a blue, blue community, it made sense to me to support elections in other districts even if I didn’t live there.  

Here’s what I learned:

1.  It’s not easy.  I couldn’t hide behind a funny picture of a cat, or even a ranting Melissa McCarthy.  This was just me on the phone with a total stranger, talking about some candidate I didn’t know.  And these were the easy calls, these were supposed to be mostly Democrats or at least Undecided.

2.  I stopped making assumptions about what people thought in other parts of the country.  I got a chance to talk to at least one person who had been Democrat but felt betrayed by his own party.

3.  There are people out there who have stopped caring, or rather, are so disappointed they don’t think it matters.

4.  There were opportunities to connect.  I wish I had taken the time to learn more about the candidate we were supporting and the issues, so I could talk with more intelligence.  I will next time.

5.  I admit sometimes I was happier when I got an answering machine.  My heart always skipped a little when I got a human on the line.  Then I took a breath and started.

6.  A couple of folks had not heard about the special election, and now they knew.  What they did with that was out of my control. But at least they knew.

7.  I had to put myself on the line.  When I let go of the ‘script’ I got a chance to share my own beliefs as to why this mattered.  IMG_2391And I thanked the people on the other line for taking the time to listen.

As I mentioned at the start, it wasn’t easy.  It helped a lot that there was a great team from Code Blue to support the efforts. Good coffee, yummy bagels.  Whenever we had a positive call, or if we got a bit discouraged, we all did a wave.  I left feeling that I had done something to help.

It hit me hard when I got home.  That if I, if WE, didn’t commit to resisting this assault with all we had, if we didn’t turn the tide, we were really and truly screwed: our economy, our environment, our future.

It will no doubt ask more of us than we anticipated.  We are going to have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off again and again.  There will be days of doubt and depression.  But what is the alternative?

So this morning, I invite you to continue to stay involved, to keep plugging away, to keep on caring.  Be it calls to your senators, meetings and town halls, marches and rallies, videos and songs.  Check out organizations like Code Blue, where you can get on the phone with folks across America and talk to people.  Or donate to ActBlue where they support candidates in local elections.  Meet your neighbors, make new friends.  There is power in numbers.  Keep working.

And maybe we can take it back – one seat at a time, one state at a time.  After all, what is the alternative?



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