Persuasion Calls

July 9

Call time in general is very difficult as I’ve mentioned many times. Persuasion calls are probably my favorite part of call time though ‘favorite’ is probably a poor word to use seeing that I need to prepare myself a half hour in advance to get through the 4 or 5 hours of call time that night. Persuasion calls or intended for voters in counties outside of Athens that have in previous elections. Our goal is to identify who each person is voting for, the issues that matter to them most, and possible persuade them otherwise if they’re undecided or just shed light on the issues or Senator Obama if they are confused, think he doesn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.

 

Tonight’s call time was interesting because I was making calls to residents of Perry County, which is a very rural, very poor county bordering Athens. I was lucky in that almost everyone I called was very polite and several were Obama supporters. Several others leaning towards Obama or undecided were interested in talking with me about the issues, which led to a very calm, enlightening conversation. What struck me the most however was that many people I talked to expressed their feelings to me simply because no one else of importance would listen. By no means am I important in regards to influence in the Obama camp, but they perceived I was since I always identify myself as being with the Obama campaign. These feelings were all about the economic struggles they were facing because of job loss and rising prices. I couldn’t do much more but agree and sympathize with their struggles. One woman really put it succinctly. She said that she was unemployed, her husband was unemployed, her sons were looking for jobs, and that she had nothing to look forward to. “Nothing to look forward to” is a phrase that stuck with me and continues to do so because I think that’s the tipping point in which people begin to lose hope. I’ve always been one for the present, never wanting to count down days until a really exciting event or overlook what’s going on in the now, but that comment made me realize that I might be focused on the present because I do have something to look forward to. I have a future that I can shape. Hopefully, I never have to tell myself I have nothing to look forward to. That is something I fear, and will strive never to come close to validating that statement.