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.