Voting Early and Often: How to Do So
I'll also write a lot about practical politics, things like making political calls, writing letters-to-the editor, calling talk radio, going door-to-door and the like.
I assure you of this: if you don't like the way American politics and American society are going, then you can and should change them. One way you can do is by voting.
However, don't just settle for that basic role. To effect real change, you have to contribute money to political candidates and play an active role in their campaigns.
You need to leverage your vote. One 14-year-girl I know, Amanda, did just that recently.
In one afternoon on election day of 2006, she made 200+ phone calls in support of PA congressional candidate Diana Lynn Irey (opponent of Jack Murtha). Amanda's brother made an equivalent number of calls. They got people to cast their ballots for Diana who otherwise might not have voted.
Both these people are too young to cast their own votes. However, their efforts led to many votes for the candidate they supported.
I told them they were changing America -- not changing it dramatically but changing it a little. They were making a difference about what kind of representation the people of Pennsylvania had.
If a candidate has, say, 250 people like Amanda and her brother he or she can win a congressional race they'd otherwise lose. It's a challenge to find that many people who will do so much, but it's essential for winning.
There are individuals in America who use their influence in such a way that they exert the power of 200 or more voters. They give money when they can, and they work hard and EFFICIENTLY to support their candidates.
How do you get people to vote for you -- or your candidate? An easy answer: you ask them -- sincerely and politely. It's not a lot harder than asking them for the time.
It also helps if you can give them one or two -- and that's enough -- good reasons why they should vote for your favorite. We all love people who agree with us, and voters are no different.
I've moved away from the topic of money, which you may have heard is "the mother's milk of politics." Obviously, a candidate needs enough money to compete, but in some ways money is over-rated.
I'll deal with that subject in the next post. Before that, I promised you humor.
In 1960, Adlai Stevenson, about to lose the race for President for the second time to Dwight Eisenhower, heard a woman in a crowd shout out: "Every intelligent person is going to vote for you."
Stevenson looked sadly at her and said, "Madam, that's not nearly enough, because to win I need a majority."
More recently, a TV talk show host asked Diana Lynn Irey what she thought about Rush Limbaugh calling her a "babe." She paused, and said, "Well, my teen-aged kids thought it was hilarious."