Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Way outside my comfort level

16 Comments

Politics. Not something I’m comfortable with, not something I’ve been particularly interested in, not something I really want to become involved with. But even I have come to realize that posting political memes on Facebook or tweeting my dissatisfaction with the way things currently are isn’t enough.

Staying silent about certain issues I feel strongly about is also something that I’m not comfortable with.

Still, change is hard. I grew up as a pretty quiet kid. I’m an introvert by nature, and would be content to camp in the woods with my dog and let all the chaos, strife, rhetoric, and bad feelings of the current political climate stream past me, like a river splits for a rock in it’s path. But lately the river has become raging, and I’m no longer content to stay safe on my isolated rock.

Months ago when a retired Republican township official knocked on our door and talked about a Democrat who was running against our Republican Representative we were intrigued. A seasoned Republican was spreading the word about a young Democrat. A female Democrat who served in Iraq, volunteering after September 11th, who has worked in the White Houses of both Bush and Obama, a woman who refuses any PAC money and won’t take contributions from large corporations.

Interesting.

And as the rhetoric builds it becomes more and more impossible to stay silent.

So this past weekend I volunteered to canvas, door to door, for Elissa Slotkin who is challenging incumbent Representative Mike Bishop in my district. You see, Representative Bishop hasn’t welcomed me and my issues into his Washington office; he really doesn’t want to hear what I have to say about truck safety. We can’t get a meeting with his staff, and though they usually acknowledge us when we drop information off, nothing ever turns into a serious meeting. Slotkin, on the other hand, has given my husband and me over an hour of her time to learn about truck safety issues.

Perhaps if I had been able to have a similarly thoughtful meeting with Bishop’s staff I wouldn’t have been out stumping for Slotkin now.

I can’t say I enjoyed it. Knocking on strangers’ doors to talk politics is about as far away from what makes me happy as you can get. There wasn’t one moment when I felt comfortable. But there are only forty some days left until the election, and this race will be very tight. The absentee ballots are available and people can start voting now.

If I want change, and I do, then I have to do the hard work required to make it happen.

And, even more scary, I have to risk the friendships of many people who I know are much more conservative than I, people who might be offended to find out I don’t always agree with all conservative policy. But as I heard Willie Nelson express in an interview recently when he was challenged for backing a Democrat by some of his fans – “They have a right to their opinion, and I have a right to mine.”

I know that I can be friends with people who have differing political opinions. I just hope all my friends realize they can too. And I hope that after November 6th we’re all still friends.

No matter which side wins.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

16 thoughts on “Way outside my comfort level

  1. Glad to hear you’re following your heart even if it’s not comfortable, Dawn. I saw ads for her while visiting my mom and she looked intriguing. However did not research her any more.

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    • She served 3 tours in Iraq, volunteering after 9/11. She worked for the CIA providing intelligence regarding the enemy. She doesn’t take any corporate or PAC money. She’s for trying to make medical costs more affordable. She’s for letting people buy into Mediare, she is NOT advocating for taking it away from those that have already paid into it. I need more info on how this would work to know how I feel about that . The negative ads that are out are based part in fiction, part in her work taken out of context. It’s frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Dawn. You are an inspiration. 🙂

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  3. Hats off to you Dawn. Congratulations on getting involved with what you believe in. (And my fingers are crossed for your candidate).

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  4. Good for you. I once did door to door and phone calling and hated every second of it, but when you feel strongly, you feel strongly. My wife gets involved almost every election year.

    I hate politics, but I think everyone needs to watch what is going on and try to see all sides. The US has terrible voter turn out. Although Washington (or your state capital) may seem a million miles away, it does have an impact on everyone’s lives. we all do need to be a little more involved. Perhaps the more “real people” who are involved, the less polarizing it will become (I’m not going to hold my breath 😉 )

    I understand being uncomfortable talking politics in public, particularly with how divided the country is today.

    Anyway, good luck to your candidate!

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    • I hate every second of it too. It’s hard to volunteer for a 2nd shift, but I did. Don’t know if I’ll be able to do more than that though. I am losing friends over my position supporting this one candidate. I don’t understand, as I’m the same person I was before I expressed my opinion. But I guess if they can’t see that we were never truly friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry you are losing friends. People get so emotional over politics. Friends should be more important than politics. It’s awful to say, but if they feel their political belief is more important than your friendship, perhaps you are right that they were never really friends. I hate how divided our country has become.

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  5. I wish I had your courage. I can write my feelings fairly easily, but when I get into discussions about topics that are important to me, it’s hard to reign in my passion and fervor and remain calm.

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    • I don’t really enter into long political discussions, just ask the people who are willing to answer the door if they know anything about my candidate, then tell them a couple things, give them the literature and go on to the next one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a former journalist, I prided myself on keeping my political leanings entirely to myself. I’m friends with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and that’s the way I like it. Why the political climate has grown so heated and mean-spirited, I’ll never know, but I sure don’t like that. I’m an introvert like you, and I can’t imagine knocking on strangers’ doors. Glad you opted to step outside your comfort zone … and lived to tell us about it, ha!

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    • For YEARS I prided myself in keeping my political leanings to myself too. People that worked in my department, and considered themselves friends, often pressured me to tell them, and I always refused. It’s just none of anyone’s business. But this race is different.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In hearing how uncomfortable you feel with stepping out and getting involved in canvassing and supporting a candidate I can imagine how much these issues around truck safety and affordable access to health care mean to you.
    I find your post inspiring and encouraging.

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  8. People have forgotten how to discuss and come to arrangements to get things done. Arguing and digging your heels in is now the preferred method. It’s sad.

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