Election Guilt

With Election Day just 22 days away, the competition for my vote–and political participation–is fierce. All I can tell Barack Obama and MoveOn.org is, get in line.

Everybody wants a piece of me. Work and family, sure. That’s a given. But then there’s every organization I’ve ever donated to (or even just signed up for their email list). Social groups, bloggers, friends, coworkers all have their stuff going on and kindly ask me to join in. I do it when I can, but often have to say no, simply so I can get my laundry done.

And now with the “most important election of our lifetime” approaching, I’m constantly bombarded with requests to attend a meeting, host a party, show my support at a rally, canvass the neighborhood to convince undecided voters, call strangers on the phone to talk about who they’re voting for and send in my early absentee ballot. Enough already!

I’ve given money to the campaign. I got the Obama t-shirt (which I wear to the Y, where I’m surrounded by Republicans watching Fox News) and bumper sticker. I’ve thoroughly researched the candidates and the issues, and of course I’m voting for Obama. I will absolutely show up to the polls on Election Day to cast my vote on the candidates and issues. What more can I do, people?

I don’t have time to canvass or rally or do phone banks. I don’t have the money to help get every freakin’ MoveOn.org or We Can Solve It TV spot on primetime. And God knows, I don’t have the energy to try to convince undecided voters (whom I suspect are really just closet McCain supporters but don’t have the nerve to ‘fess up) that they should vote for the candidate who might actually improve the state of our country for the majority middle class. It’s their responsibility to figure out who they want to vote for. Why the hell should I make my pleas when they’ll probably only fall on deaf ears anyway?

For those of you who are more civic-minded and politically active than I am, I commend you. The country needs people with the time, money and energy to fight the good fight. But I can’t take one more guilt-inducing email, direct mail piece, phone message or radio or TV commercial telling me I have to help more–or else. Isn’t this blog enough?

One thing I am incredibly grateful for this election season is my DVR. We got it earlier this year, and now I’m reaping the benefits of not having to watch a single commercial while enjoying my favorite recorded programs. Only when I watch live TV am I reminded of how hellish political ads are to endure during the fall. I love you, DVR!

12 thoughts on “Election Guilt

  1. I started avoiding the phone when I saw America Votes on my caller ID. I went door to door for Kerry during the last election, and that was cool. But this year I’m pregnant and working and pinch hitting for my husband, whose own work-load has been so insane he’s pulling all-nighters at the office. Sorry. I don’t have the time or energy to do more than put an Obama sign in my front yard. And I agree with you on undecideds. Mostly, I figure people who can’t make up their minds on something like this are a little dim or just looking for attention. I’d hate to be behind one of these folks in the drive-through line at McDonalds’

  2. I am so with you on this, Susan. It makes me almost regret giving money to the DNC and the campaign because they keep calling me asking for more. And they ALWAYS call when I’m trying to put my kid to bed, which makes me crazy! The other thing that makes me crazy — my last donation was Sept. 4 and I was supposed to get a car magnet out of the deal but it still hasn’t arrived (you’d think they’d want me driving around with it more than a week or so before the election!).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Giving personal time? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing more of if you get what you vote for and Obama moves into the Oval Office. Get ready to suit up and do your mandatory service hours under his “Plan for Universal and Voluntary Citizen Service”.

  4. Offering It Up says:

    hmmm… thanks for the comment anonymous, but last time I read the dictionary ‘voluntary’ meant just that.

    I’m with you Susan. I get emails daily asking me to host a viewing party, or call undecided voters. There’s no way I could find the time. I forward articles to friends and family, encourage everyone I know to register and I’ve even made sure that everyone knows where to go for early voting. Between raising my kids, running my house and trying to earn money, that’s about all I have time for.

  5. anonymous is right. It can’t be both universal (everyone/everywhere) and voluntary (your choice.) It will be one or the other, and if you read the fine print on the Obama website, it will be mandatory for school children. Requiring service of students will be tied to schools getting federal money, which they can’t live without. College students will have to do 100 hours of service a year to receive student loans.
    So, for a large number of people it will be mandatory.
    I’m all for volunteering, which I do weekly, but all for personal choices and freedom too, and i don’t like to see those freedoms eroded by anyone. Volunteerism should be encouraged but not required. Sometimes, Obama scares me!

  6. Justice Fergie says:

    lol. you took the words out of my mouth. the fix is easy though – just unsubscribe!

    i like reading the daily (hourly) emails so i just delete.

  7. This is exactly why I tell people I’m undecided… so they’ll leave me the heck alone. 🙂

    I don’t get harassed by political parties wanting me to donate money or time. And I don’t get harassed by others on my personal views.

    And that doesn’t mean I’m a closet McCain supporter either, SUSAN.

    It means there some things I agree on with Obama, and some things I do not. And the same with McCain.

    So, back off, and quit hatin’ the undecided voters! I’ll tell you who I voted for on November 5. 🙂

  8. Cara, you do the best job of anybody I know staying above the fray. I honestly have no idea whom you support, and I think that’s cool! You’re a classy lady.

  9. I have to agree with Cara. I honestly hate election years.

    And I love you gals, but the elections posts can be a little preachy. If you want to help sway undecideds, calling them dim or cowards is prob not the way to go.

  10. OK, OK, undecided does not necessarily = closet McCain supporter. I surrender to the possibility that a perfectly reasonable, intelligent person hasn’t made up her mind yet (or doesn’t care to share her choice with loudmouth liberals like me). But I really don’t intend to sway you one way or the other. I honestly feel it is up to the individual voter to make that choice.

  11. And I’m sorry for calling undecideds dim. I guess I just have a hard time understanding the inability to make up one’s mind in general – I tend to be a quick decider, which isn’t always the best, either. But I agree with Susan – I’m not out help to make up anybody’s mind. I like Big Macs, and if you like quarter pounders with cheese – or can’t decide between the nuggets or the fish sandwich – then I’m not going to argue or try to convince you how yummy that special sauce is.

  12. That’s right. I like to know what all exactly makes up that special sauce before I scarf it down. 🙂

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