Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I (Heart) Jesus

I got up, did a little writing this morning, and hit the phone. I called folks throughout central Illinois today. Some were from my alma mater - Illinois. It was neat to hear about the Ron Paul group there from some members, and also to hear about the Ron Paul group there from known supporters on campus who aren't members and are happy just being lone Ron Paul supporters. I spoke to some really nice folks today, the kind of day that makes you say "There are some damn good people out there." I've noticed on the phone that my conversations with folks in the heartland a little more eye to eye than my conversations with folks in the city.

In suburban Lansing a few days a go, I nearly convinced myself after an afternoon of canvassing that I'd like to move there. There was just SO much good will for a young guy going door to door to talk about Ron Paul. Some folks loved Ron Paul, some didn't know they did until after our talk, some weren't interested, or were going to vote for Hillary, but man was there a lot of good will. This is not New Hampshire, where the politicians come personally to your door and serve you dinner as they tell you what they will do for you as the next US President, here people aren't hearing a darn thing about a lot of the candidates - not in mailings, not real coverage in the paper, not in commercials, and definitely not door to door (with the exceptions of Ron Paul's folks on the ground). Lots of good will.

After a time, I decided to take every house that had been telephoned in the past and identified as a second amendment voter. It's a language I speak. NRA v. Gun Owner's of America. Don't knock on that door unless you know the difference, because you're gonna lose Ron Paul a vote that he should have gotten. No candidate is stronger on the Constitution, and that damn well includes the Second Amendment.

Other's appreciate the fact that Ron Paul doesn't support the use of embryonic stem cells when adult stem cells can be used. Will you bring that up before they close the door? Will you name an issue they care about before they close the door, having had enough of you and the $6/minute of heating that the conversation is letting out the front door, while the dog is drowning out discussion with the yaps?

Lots of people dislike the door to door. It's real intimidating at first, but man is it damn good once you get the first few. How else would you talk to 40 other Americans in a day, to hear what's on their mind, listen to the tambre of their voices, smell what's cooking in the background, look at the stress or relaxation in their eyes. Damn is this good.

Even in my own home town, I'm invited to peer into the household in a way that is not often welcome to most strangers, because I'm a neighbor, taking the time to call. And I see that many have moved since the last election, a language barrier is becoming more prominent between many of my neighbors and I. Italian, language of the last immigrant wave in Blue Island, a language that I can still follow when spoken to, has been replaced by Spanish, a language that I must constantly relearn when coming home. Among everyone, there is a certain sense of uncertainty. The votes are undecided. Of course, our Junior Senator has his cheerleaders in every community in Illinois, but many have not seen enough to feel convinced to go vote for him or anyone else. I wish there were just a little more time and I would take ten other Ron Paul supporters out there to help me right now. We would go door to door on the southside for the next month, and I firmly believe it would be Ron Paul's. As for the time we have, we will canvass our precincts, call the neighboring precincts, and we will surely pick up a good amount of delegates selected to go directly to St. Paul to vote for Ron Paul (what a good year to have the National Convention in St. Paul). From Chicago to the Iowa border, I do indeed see the message spreading.

Based on the people I called, many precinct captains signed up before night's end. 8:30 pm I put an end to the phone calls, knowing that I'd rather not harass the good people of central Illinois by calling at that hour.

I'd heard stories of the signs out there. Not a GOP or Democratic presidential sign anywhere outside of Chicago that I've yet to hear about that doesn't say Ron Paul on it.
"Have you seen the signs for other candidates?" I've asked.
"Not a one." Is how the answer often goes.

"I went on a call, and it must've been 100 miles down winding back roads, and what did I see - Ron Paul signs, I (Heart) Jesus, and the Ten Commandments, they have the Ten Commandments on the side of the road when you get back there far enough, it's actually kind of scary. On the way back, I decided to count the signs - I (Heart) Jesus had 3, the Ten Commandments had 3 too, and in that hundred miles there were actually 18 Ron Paul signs, 3 of them even those big 4 foot by 8 foot signs, and a few folks had even made their own."

Will we win Illinois? Maybe. Will we win the presidency? Maybe. What I do know, is that this movement, with Ron Paul as a figurehead, will win the hearts of the American people. We are in the midst of a Revolution, as that described by Ben Franklin. I wonder if the path of the America of 20 years from now will even resemble the path of an America today.

Johannes, I hope the trip is still on, I admire the fact that you will be able to see the heartland during this heavily contested election. It is an excuse to get people to speak to you, a stranger, from the heart. What an experience you will have, unlike the experience in America that almost anyone else would have in their travels.

Tonight. I spent twenty or thirty minutes scanning the news, and came across mention of this. It's Mitt.

In about 3 minutes of interview, Mitt Romney convinced this radio host to vote for Ron Paul. It's good stuff. I'd like to recommend listening to it until the end of the segment.

It's time to read a little bit (I'm not educating myself on theory as much as I ought to be right now, all of my education seems to be very experiential right now), and then off to bed.

I trust that you are all fighting the good fight where you are today. I'd like to leave you with a question my father has begun to ask: "What have you done for the Constitution today?"

writing from La Isla Azul

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