Thursday, August 20, 2009

Doin' the Hard Work

The shouters and screamers who have made their presence known in various debates these past few months remind me of one of my pet political peeves. Where are they when the "hard work" of politics needs to be done? Were they sitting in the hot sun at a voter registration table, trying to get their fellow residents to participate in the process of electing officials? Did they join the cadre of volunteers who rode buses to another state to try to get out the vote? How many of them made telephone calls on election day to remind their neighbors to get to the polls, or drove those without transportation to a local polling place? Did I see them working at the polling place for less than minimum wage, getting up before dawn and working til late at night to make sure the process worked efficiently? And most importantly, were they the ones who put their lives on hold to run for elected office, patiently listening to the uninformed at rallies and even in the supermarket.

The people I respect most are the ones who realize that the political process can be messy and ugly and difficult to understand, but they participate in it nevertheless. They recognize that it works only when they do the hard work. The easy part -- yelling and chanting old slogans -- is just that-- easy.

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