Limited time offer. This week only. This is an excellent opportunity – the perfect excuse – to get out there and talk with strangers about politics. Face-to face.
I did it yesterday. As a volunteer for the Maine Democratic Party I knocked on doors and talked with strangers about the election. Have you decided who to vote for? Can I tell you who I am voting for, and why? It was a wonderful experience.
Many people were hungry to talk. I learned from some why voting is a sacred honor and from others why they don’t vote. I heard many theories; things I agreed with and things I didn’t. And I heard full color stories of real people about why they have changed their minds or why they are standing strong; the stories behind the numbers and trends we hear in the news.
And I’m pretty sure that for some people, this was the only in-person conversation they had for days. People are so isolated in the pandemic. If for no other reason, this is a great opportunity to break the monotony and offer a face-to-face connection to someone shut in.
Here in Maine both major parties are recruiting volunteers. They can get you trained and get you out there in a hurry. And if face-to-face is not your thing, they will be happy to train you to talk with strangers by phone. See https://www.mainedems.org/ and https://mainegop.com/.
If you are fed up with politics on social media and tired of shaking your first at your screen, I am double-daring you to get out there and engage for real; on actual doorsteps and in front yards of your fellow Americans. This is your chance.
And by the way I experienced no hostility and several versions of, “Thanks for doing this, man. Good for you. This is what we need.”
2 thoughts on “Knock on the doors of your fellow Americans.”
Thanks for writing Patti.
When I did canvassing I did so on behalf of the Democratic Party and they provided training and a script.
The script changes by the day but generally starts with clearly identifying yourself and who you are volunteering for and then a question such as: Do you pan to vote for Sarah Gideon? Or, Are you planning to vote on November 3?
I think that the key is to be straight forward and respectful and start with a genuine question.
I’ve been doing this as well, and will again next weekend. So many folks not home seems odd. And many not wanting to engage in conversation. Can you tell me how you open the conversation? I’ve always started with “Hi, I’m your neighbor Patti from Cambridge, and I’m coming around to see if I can convince you to vote?” But I found I got a lot of sorta suspicious looks this time. My canvassing buddy starts with- “We are out here looking for folks to vote for Democrats “ and surprisingly that seemed to work better. Lastly I’ve tried humor “bet you didn’t know there’s an election?” And that seems to break the ice. How about you?