Now I've done it. I have dived into the pool called politics. Me, who can't even remember what election was my first election to vote, when my kids ask. Me, who takes notes to the polls so I won't forget who someone said was best, but then ends up skipping half the ballot anyway.
Elections, for the rest of you, are on a back burner for several more years. Maybe two, maybe four, but at least the yard signs are down and the robocalls are over. Not here. Our little newborn city is in runoffs. The mayor and three of the four city council positions are to be voted upon Dec. 4.
I considered burying my head, but the more I've learned about the top contender for mayor, the more I want to help defeat him. When I started asking about the possible mayors this summer many people would lower their voice as if they didn't want to be heard saying something bad. Then they'd say, "He's sort of a bully." "He's a bulldozer." Or, the hesitant, "Well, he does get things done.... But I wouldn't want to get in his way." They didn't even follow it with "Bless his heart" like a proper Southerner does when insulting someone. I met the other choices, found someone I felt represented everything he wasn't, and voted for her. And she came in 2nd of four.
All this brought me to this day, mid November, walking door to door with Pook, canvassing for a mayoral candidate. Phoning my neighbors. "Can Sandy count on your vote for mayor?" Noting on a spreadsheet the strong yes, leaning yes, undecided, leaning no, and strong no votes.
What I'm learning is interesting. First, I am not as isolated in my political values in this neighborhood as I thought. Second, most people are like I've always been- not wanting to do the research or get involved. Third, they are happy that they now know someone who has done it for them and they will probably vote for her just because of me.
Or, as Pook pointed out, they could be being nice just to get me off their doorstep.