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I’m in…volunteering for our president

4 min read

Saturday, I donated a couple hours of my time to Organizing for America, Pres. Obama’s grassroots volunteer movement for his re-election. I’ve been to several of these meetings, where I take photos and blog, at the request of OFA leaders. Identified immediately for skills I can donate, the organization is expert at utilizing resources others want to offer. The gratitude and encouragement I’ve received for previous work make me feel eager to help out again.

It’s incredible how being treated respectfully makes people want to do their best.

A spirit of generosity and optimism is stoked at each meeting, regardless of who shows up for it. I’ve met smart, thoughtful people concerned for our nation’s present and future. Openly, we discuss our president’s accomplishments as well as our frustrations with him. We want Pres. Obama to do better, and we are willing to show up for him, work for him, and make it possible for his presidency to improve.

Woody Allen says 90% of success is showing up…..well, we’re showing up with our progressive agenda and we will be successful in seeing positive change.

At yesterday’s meeting, our team leader made time for each volunteer to say why she/he was there…why each person took time on a Saturday morning to listen to campaign agenda items and sign up for more events. The answers reminded me of how much Pres. Obama has accomplished: the end of the Iraq War, unemployment benefits extensions, the saving of GM and resurrection of the US auto industry, student loan reform, Home Affordability Act, nominees to the Supreme Court, health care reform, social justice for our LGBT community, the Nobel Peace Prize….the list went on and on.

We did not dismiss the administration’s limitations during this term. Pres. Obama has not held back the growth of big corporations and the further consolidation of the financial sector, which are more powerful today than they were when he took office. (One man and one administration cannot hold back that tide of history. Trickle Down economics from the Reagan administration and the globalization of the economy signed into action with NAFTA during Pres. Clinton’s administration are responsible for the protracted economic issues that threaten American prosperity.) History moves in broad strokes, and Pres. Obama is a newcomer.

The erosion of the middle class started thirty years ago, and I refuse to pin that failing on Pres. Obama. If we are to shore up our economy for the middle class, the re-election of Pres. Obama is essential. A Republican presidency at this time in our history will effectively end any hope for a return to prosperity for the 99%.

Our president may not have been able to fight back corporate interests as well as we’d wished, but he doesn’t work for them…the Republican candidate’s master is special interests. There’s a difference between not defeating big money on the first try and actually being big money.

Our team leader pulled us back on track when we digressed, like I just did in the last few paragraphs. In short, volunteers for OFA have reasons both personal and global for why we give of our resources and our time to this cause. We are smart enough to know good changes will only come with our commitment. For me personally, I’ve always been progressive and interested in politics. It appeals to me, and so I enjoy the meetings, the strategy, the game….I’m into it.

Why I’m becoming more active in this election than previous ones is I need to believe good people can win and commitments matter. Being in a place of disillusionment following the end of my marriage, I feel like putting efforts into something bigger than myself, bigger than my family, and bigger than my situation. Part of my healing comes from putting energy into a useful cause. I believe doing the right thing matters, and I know Pres. Obama believes the same by his actions.

No longer do I read negative blogs about Pres. Obama, or fret over what he hasn’t been able to accomplish in three years. What he has accomplished is astonishing; already what he’s done will be carefully studied by historians for centuries. We’re watching a notable era unfold.

I choose to think about what our president can accomplish with four more years, and how he can change the social landscape with his calm, thoughtful decision-making process. I’m in for this campaign season because I believe good guys prevail, even when there are setbacks.

I’m in because I still believe…

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