door-to-door in jax
my first house, a young white womon with a toddler, answered the door. I asked if she was the name on the list – no, that was her sister who’s moved to tampa & needs an absentee ballet! this is not a choice on the move on questionnaire but I make a note! when I asked her if she’s decided who she’s voting for, a question that is on my list, she narrows her eyes, declares kerry, and says well, look at the alternative.
the next few respondents were voting for kerry. then i approached a sprawling 50’s ranch w/no signs out front. I knocked & found the brother of the name on my list – a day for siblings! again, I asked this young white male if he’s decided who to vote for; he actually told me he was undecided! and he was willing to talk w/me! his mom was for kerry and his father was for bush and he himself didn’t know but he was leaning towards bush. I asked him what was it that made him lean towards bush and he said how bush was handling the terrorists. I asked him to name 3 things bush has done well handling terrorists. of course, there is only one thing – the war. I asked him if he realized not one Iraqi was on the planes that attacked us. no, he didn’t know that. I asked him if he realized not one weapon of mass destruction was found in iraq – until we dropped bombs that is. another thing he didn’t realize. I asked him if he realized there was no connection between hussein and osama, in fact they were enemies. he didn’t. I asked him if he truly thought pumped up testosterone macho posturing followed by bombing a tiny, poor country killing over 30,000 people not to mention over 1,100 u.s. soldiers was going to make us safe. he wasn’t so sure. we talked about domestic policies. he liked kerry’s positions on health care, education, jobs but thought he was weak, a girlie man. fuck arnold swartzennegger, that hateful son of a bastard. here was an extremely southern polite young white male taking the time to speak w/a stranger knocking on his mom’s door, a young male who didn’t know there wasn’t an Iraqi 9/11 terrorist to be found but certainly knew sexist bile from the other side of the country – go figure.
I appealed to him to listen to women, his mom first of all, in this election at the very least. I left feeling hopeful…..we’ll see.
I was surprised when the last womon on my list, sitting on her grass weeding, told me she was voting for bush. I was even more surprised when she agreed to talk w/me about her decision. it was a repeat performance – she had no idea there were no iraqi’s on the planes, no weapons of mass destruction found, no reason – other than the 2nd largest oil reserve under Iraqi soil – to attack this nation. she was vaguely aware of bush’s domestic economic policies that have crippled the nation’s poor and middle classes and seemed genuinely distraught when I mentioned unemployment rates, schools closing, poverty rising for 3 years in a row!!! she agreed these were reasons to vote for kerry.
when I asked her if they were reasons enuff to vote for kerry, she gave me that righteous hesitation that smelled like anti-choice. she wouldn’t say it directly so I did. she actually didn’t want to talk about it, so I did. I told her I can’t really understand if someone is anti-abortion on the grounds of protecting life, then didn’t she find it terribly hypocritical to then be bombing and killing over 30,000 iraqi’s? she did nod her head in agreement until I continued with if one really is anti-abortion, then you would support kerry. I told her about how abortion has been on the rise since gwb took office, to the tune of 52,000 more abortions this past year. I told her how abortion rates had been steadily declining over the past 20 years until bush came into office. I told her about the 3 reasons wimmin are now having more abortions: 1) they can’t afford a child; 2) they don’t have health care; and 3) they have boyfriends who don’t have jobs. bush’s domestic policies contribute to the rise in abortion.
I ended w/asking her if she really wanted a man who declares himself to be a “war president”. I told her we, women, children, men, in the u.s., in iraq, in the world, need a peace president. we talked for a good 15 minutes – I was surprised she continued to speak w/me. I profusely thanked her for taking the time to talk – I told her my experience is that republican wimmin usually will not discuss their positions and it made me really glad that she’s been willing to do so. she smiled a little ruefully & announced she was a democrat! I called her by her name & expressed my dismay & hope that she’ll reconsider. then she told me she wasn’t the womon on my list – that was her daughter! okay, time to start all over again!