Sunday, January 17, 2010

Canvassing for Brown


(fm the BC thread "A real horse race")

Saturday I spent the day canvassing in Western MA. Some of the people who attend political rallies and do volunteer work for my side frighten me more than the opposition does. I believe in politics as in romance it is best to build strength on strength. Unfortunately there are always lonely weak and troubled people who seek a venue of controlled social activity in which they can attempt to impose authority, force social relations in a controlled setting, and act out their grievances and inadequacies to tear down others. Such people populate the fringes, Larouchites for the Democrats and Paulites for the Republicans and Palin or McCain haters are often motivated less by their policy concerns, which many share, but by their need to find flaws and enemies and tear down rivals. They drive people out in order to gain control.

The process of coming in from another state to spend a few hours walking around is very wasteful but the reception was remarkably positive. Almost no evidence of support for Coakley displayed and an 80% positive response for Brown from the Independents that I contacted. Without succumbing to the wilder enthusiasms of the ideologues and obsessives that every campaign attracts, and without ignoring the potential for Minnesota level fraud with boxes of voted to be discovered in car trunks after an election, it is possible to feel hope.

2 comments:

Mary said...

My sister lives in Boston and while she is no fan of the Kennedys she has always been quick to point out that Teddy "did a lot for Massachussetts", whatever that means exactly. I suspect his longevity in the Senate had less to do with ideology than it did specific benefit to his constituency. Something that generally speaking does not conform to the prejudices of the Belmont Club, no offence intented to our esteemed host. I find myself somewhat at odds with the right these days, much as you indicate here, and of course in no sympathy with the left either. One hopes for a new and different political stance to arise from the turmoil of present circumstances, but in fact I do not expect much. Age tends to leave one expecting the worst...

Mary said...

My sister lives in Boston and while she is no fan of the Kennedys she has always been quick to point out that Teddy "did a lot for Massachussetts", whatever that means exactly. I suspect his longevity in the Senate had less to do with ideology than it did specific benefit to his constituency. Something that generally speaking does not conform to the prejudices of the Belmont Club, no offence intented to our esteemed host. I find myself somewhat at odds with the right these days, much as you indicate here, and of course in no sympathy with the left either. One hopes for a new and different political stance to arise from the turmoil of present circumstances, but in fact I do not expect much. Age tends to leave one expecting the worst...