I Canvassed for a Political Party (And Now I Think I Want to Be a Politician)

I’ve been working on saying, “yes,” to new things. I would normally cower away from anything I haven’t done before, but it’s a habit I’ve been trying to break. Because of this, I agreed to tag along with her, knocking on doors and pushing for political candidates that I truly do endorse and believe in.

It wasn’t a thing I had planned to do. I had planned for breakfast and a latte at a coffee shop that my friend raved about, but canvassing? Not so much.

My friend, a much more politically-activated individual than I, invited me to go canvassing with her after our (not-so-rave-worthy) lattes.

I’ve been working on saying, “yes,” to new things. I would normally cower away from anything I haven’t done before, but it’s a habit I’ve been trying to break. Because of this, I agreed to tag along with her, knocking on doors and pushing for political candidates that I truly do endorse and believe in.

To say I was nervous is an understatement. I knew what canvassing was, but for some reason, I was imagining a political march rather than door-to-door knocking. (This was probably just my hopeful thinking, as a march is something I have, in fact, done before.) Once I realized canvassing was most definitely not a march, I was worried. I was going to be one of those annoying people that interrupt someone’s Saturday afternoon to tell them what to do?

I didn’t know what I was going to say, and even with a script provided, all of my experience as an improvisational performer flew right out of the window. “What am I supposed to say?” I asked my friend, the mediocre latte I drank a few hours earlier not helping my anxiety level,  “I don’t want to talk to strangers that are going to hate me!”

Having canvassed before, my companion was much calmer. “First of all, you have a script. Secondly, I can tell you that most people are actually pretty nice.”

We moved through streets and roads, and my friend shared that even though she had canvassed before, this was a little different than the last time. “We’ll do the first few together, and then once we are both comfortable, we’ll split up,” she said.

I agreed.

Starting together definitely sounded like a good (and comforting) idea.

We moved from house to house, laughing at how we couldn’t find simple addresses, and poking fun at the script we were given. “This is what it says, but I’m not saying that,” I laughed, “I’ll sound like a total idiot!”

After summarizing the (very specific) script and being able to watch an experienced canvasser like my friend, I was ready to tackle my own house alone.

Shocker: It was fine.

She was right. Most people were really polite, as most don’t have the gall to slam a door in your face even if they want to, and the worst thing I heard was, “I’m not interested.”

We only canvassed for a couple of hours, but it was long enough to give me a taste of what it was like. Overall, I had a pretty good time. For one, it was kind of fun. I got to go out and advocate for something I truly believe in and think is important, and also spend some time with a friend.

I will not lie. Yes, advocacy and quality time with a friend is nice, but the feeling that I’ve done something valuable on a weekend was really gratifying.

I enjoy participating, and I enjoy being involved. I have strong beliefs and opinions, and I am passionate about them. This was a great way to channel that passion into something that (hopefully) made a difference.

Even more, for the past 5 years or so, I have been interested in being politically involved myself as a candidate. I want to make changes, and the way to do that is to be the person making them. As someone that hopes to one day “be someone” politically, I feel it is important for me to be involved in supporting someone else first.

I can proudly say that I’ve voted in every election- big or small- since I registered on the day I turned 18. To be someone that did more than just vote, but actually got their butt off of the couch, away from a Saturday Law & Order marathon, is something I feel is not only gratifying, but truly empowering.

I feel that I did something that mattered.

Yes, there are humans that canvass all day, for multiple days. There are humans that run campaigns, and work way harder than I did to make it a win. Those people are individuals that I can only aspire to be as good as.

For now, however, I’ve dipped my toe in and learned a few valuable things:
— I can do more than I am right now.
— I can talk to strangers and promote a political candidate, or something else I believe in.
— do want to be some type of politician.

I have a lot to learn, and it takes more than just a couple of hours of hanging pamphlets on doors to be qualified to make decisions for large groups of people. In no way am I saying I’m ready to be the first female president, but I do think I could really do it, and I’ve never truly felt that before.

With the right research, understanding, and effort, I could be the person really making change. I could be the person with their picture on pamphlets and commercials on every channel. I could be the one making speeches in front of cameras and designing buttons with one of my slogans on it.

Maybe I would be good at it. Maybe I wouldn’t.

Years ago, someone I barely knew told me I should be a politician. They told me I had good morals and values, I could effectively speak publicly, and I cared about the welfare of others. They claimed I would be good in politics. Since I heard that, the idea has been rolling around in my brain.

After today, I’m starting to think that it may not be such a bad idea.

I am happy. I am full of passion. I am interested. I am inspired.

If nothing else comes of this feeling, I have done something good. I have tried something new, and discovered I like it, and who knows? Maybe one day, I will be the first female president.

No matter how you vote, make sure to voteTo find your polling place, visit Vote.org. Don’t just be a voter, been an informed one. Use the Voting Information Tool to learn more about what’s on your ballot.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: I Vowed to Start Saying “Yes” in 2018 – Hot Mess Mollie

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