A Walk in the Neighborhood

Yesterday, I spent some time following around one of Boone County’s candidates as he went door-to-door campaigning. As we went up one side of the street and down the next, only to actually talk to someone at about 15 of the 50 houses we stopped at, I gained some new respect for candidates. 

Honestly, I’d groan inwardly too when I’d answer the door at home to find another candidate handing me literature and notepads and stickers, trying to plead his/her case. I’d politely listen, then break the news I wasn’t 18 yet. Or quickly call my parents so I wouldn’t have to spend my time acting like I cared. 

Yet, covering the election and experiencing a small fraction of the time and energy put into campaigning has opened my mind and heart to the importance of giving those ever-smiling, ever-persistent men and women a little time and consideration. 

The candidate I followed is past retirement age, yet carried a helium balloon tank and kept up a steady stream of talk while moving remarkably fast from one house to the next. I, on the other hand, was yawning, tripping over sticks and hurrying to keep up, taking every opportunity to sit on a porch or lean against a pole, while trying to look as energetic as the candidate. I was a little ashamed and resolved to start going to the gym afterwards.

The way campaigning is done in our age in America accepts door-to-door and info card campaigning as a norm, if not a necessity. Yet, if it’s so exasperating to us, why do we continue to expect it? Maybe it’s time to think of new ways we want to be reached by candidates or give them more slack when they interrupt our lunch or favorite TV show. 

What do you think?

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