Monday, November 3, 2008

It's always been about hope

I've spent the past few weekends in Pennsylvania, along with other volunteers from NJ (and elsewhere). It has been a heartening and moving experience.

I've heard remarkable things. The woman in East Stroudsburg who was laid off in June. Her husband's salary is not enough to make their mortgage payments. I met older people concerned about health care and Social Security and younger people in college concerned about whether they will have jobs and how hard they'll have to work to pay off debts (personal from college loans and national from Bush's deficits). In the Poconos I talked to a "typical redneck" who's convinced we need a change so badly he's ready to try "that guy" - Obama.

There was the working class guy at the Chinese restaurant in Allentown. "I'm a Republican," he said, "but we can't take any more of this." He asked for an Obama button and went out wearing it. I met a pregnant woman whose husband is a Major in Iraq. He had just found out the Army had screwed up his entire units' absentee ballots, so their votes would not be counted. She said most of the guys were for Obama, and she's so convinced we need a change that she is volunteering for Obama this Election Day.

A woman in Tobyhanna came past her husband, kids, and dogs. Stepping out onto the porch she closed the door behind her and, "I'm so glad you came. I can't talk about this around here. A lot of folks are racist, you know." Dozens of folks living on both the right and wrong sides of the tracks say it's time for a change.

If you listen, again and again, you hear that this election has always been about hope.

Tuesday we'll hear millions of ordinary Americans speak in the voting booth. As a people, we will speak clearly and convincingly. And that will make the difference in this election, and in our nation.

 

1 comment:

Charles said...

Your experience of PA follows my own. My sense is that this election is not going to be a close one at all. Thanks for your posting and your work.