Sunday November 06, 2016
GOTV on Capitol Hill
Yesterday I went canvassing in the rain, knocking on doors in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton.
I know: pointless. Or near pointless. Clinton isn't going to lose Washington, and she's sure as hell not going to lose Capitol Hill (although ... Bernie Bros). But ever since FBI Director James Comey's stunning and unethical announcement last Friday of potential new emails, and the misdirection of U.S. Rep, and professional worm, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), that Comey was “reopening” the investigation, and because the mainstream media pounced on this story to get eyes and ears and clicks in what was otherwise becoming a rout of a presidential race, the narrative in the U.S. election has changed, and I've been a mix of anxiety, sadness, and pure cold fury. So I figured better to do something than nothing. Or something rather than firing off more useless tweets into the void.
It wasn't a bad four hours to spend. Of the people I spoke with, about 50 percent had already voted, and had voted a straight Democrat ticket. Another quarter were voting that weekend. Of the others ... Well, one guy, 30s, was an artist—he showed me his work—and he seemed in his own world. He didn't know this Tuesday was election day. He'd gotten his ballot but wasn't sure he was registered. “If you got a ballot,” I told him, “then you're registered.” He went looking for it; two minutes later he came back shrugging. He invited me in; I opted out. Work to do. Plus I'm a little put off by Americans who don't even know when election day is.
At another apartment, a young woman on her cell answered, but it was her roommate we were looking for—and she was away for the day, with her ballot still on the dining room table. So I spoke to the woman who answered the door.
Me: Have you voted?
She: I'm Canadian.
Me: Ah. Well, we may be neighbors soon.
It took a second for the other shoe to drop; when it did, she laughed. I didn't. I'm past a sense of humor on it.
Today, of course, James Comey announced that there was nothing in the emails, but it's hardly vindication—for anyone. To me the headlines should read:
Clinton still innocent.
Comey still guilty.
Trump still vile and disgusting and pandering to the worst instincts in people.