Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hiking for Massa

I've been busy lately pounding the pavement for Eric Massa, who is a Democrat running for congress in the 29th district of New York. Even on weekends, many homes are not populated - the residents are out and about - so I leave my little flyer and a letter for them to look at. This is grass roots democracy at its lowest level. One thing about campaigning in a wealthy suburb is that it's a long walk between houses!

Massa's opponent, Republican Randy Kuhl, has no grass roots organization walking the streets, but he has twice the money of my man. Kuhl is already flooding the mailboxes and airwaves with the Karl Rove formula - attack, attack, attack. Rove's winning tactic has been to accuse opponents of being "for" things that the average voter fears at the gut level, such as terrorists in every home, taxes that put his/her family in the poorhouse, and either an abortion clinic or a gay married couple on every street. The sad thing is, this kind of campaign often works. I'm out walking against it.

Tonight we had a little neighborhood campaign meeting. Everyone except the host was retired from somewhere. We had an ex-FBI man, a retired lady schoolteacher, an ex-Xerox systems person, and a bearded professor-like gentleman who was also a Republican like me. Only one of the attendees was a card-carrying left winger. So, times have changed. As we went around the room, it was clear that people of all stripes felt that the current Republican administration and congress were taking our country down the wrong road at warp speed. It was especially interesting to hear the FBI guy talk about how the Bush administration is gutting our freedom with invasive wiretapping and other assaults on personal privacy. Seeing the diversity of people who are supporting my candidate made me feel really good...if they represent the mainstream, perhaps we will win!

I felt even better after arriving home and checking the internet. The head of the British Army now says that they (and us) should leave Iraq and that our presence is exacerbating the bad situation there. How many experts need to tell this virtually self-evident truth before Bush & Co. are forced to change course? Hopefully, not too many more.

It's cold here - about 40 degrees. That means the hike down my assigned streets in Pittsford tomorrow will be not just long but also nippy. I'm hoping my passion for good government will keep me warm. But just in case, maybe I'll take along a thermos of hot chocolate!

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