Sunday, October 17, 2004

Epidemic of voter fatigue?

I can feel it out there.

I've been canvassing my ward via MoveOn's voter turnout program. When I started going out a few weeks ago, I was generally welcomed at most of my stops. People seemed almost happy to have a chance to talk about the election. That was before the debates, several more weeks of TV punditry, and who knows how many other phone calls, mailings, and door knocks.

Even so, I've enjoyed meeting my neighbors. I can also see how politics can be addictive. As in golf, the groove you feel on one great day can keep you fueled through several bad ones. I hope when its all said and done, I've managed to get a few extra bodies to the polls more than would have shown up if I'd done nothing.

Democracy was barely served by the debates--at the very least, a previously uninformed voter could see that there are policy differences. I'm fairly certain, though, that democracy will not be served by the vicious campaigning of the next two weeks, especially given that they're being relayed through the absentee landlords of the fourth estate.

Of course, it's possible that it's not my neighbors who are fatigued, but rather me.


Blogger Laura said...

A fight nearly broke out at the under 9 boys soccer game over the election. One woman seemed far from fatigued; she seemed downright energized. The people around her, though, seemed to grow weary of her rather quickly. They just don't want to hear any more. They've heard it all before--or, as one woman implied--she just didn't want to think aobut it anymore. She felt she was being robbed blind by corporations and insurance companies but felt powerless to do anything. I have campaign fatigue, but perhaps that's because I'm following it so closely and I'm anxious because I want Kerry to win and I just don't know if that's going to happen. It would be easy just to give in and just say, as the powerless woman did, that "ignorance is bliss." It won't be if you don't have a job, are paying really high taxes and your 18 year old son is drafted. I'm working at my local polling location and maybe next election, I'll do even more. It takes time and effort and yes, it's tiring, but ultimately worth it.

4:28 PM  

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