The last seventeen months have been wild. I signed up for a presidential draft movement. I lived in a foreign country. I registered for a major political party for the first time in my life. I got my candidate in September last year. I fought with a friend of my who supported another Democrat, but we made up.
I talked to people in my area, manning tables with literature and contribution forms. I wore my Draft Clark pin almost every day. I registered voters. I made calls to people, sometimes annoying them, sometimes intriguing them, and sometimes entertaining them. I learned that an effective political message must be simple. I saw the candidates speak throughout New Hampshire. I learned my candidates lines by heart: “... you can't have family values if you don’t value families ... this flag belongs to no party ... .” I talked to people from throughout America who came to New Hampshire to lend their support.
I knocked on doors, showing people flyers I had made myself. I talked to people who, married in other countries, wanted their marriages recognized here. I stood outside in the sub-freezing weather on primary day. How much did my hands and feet hurt from the cold? Sometimes my wife and I huddled in the car to get a little warmth before going back out. We met nice people from every campaign–the Kucinich supporters were some of the nicest. When that ended, I wrote letters.
When the campaign came to an end, I mourned. I stayed away from campaigning for a few months, as did a few of my new friends. Some of those people moved away, others found jobs in politics. I got a John Kerry pin. When I got the courage up again, I started going up to New Hampshire again. I made calls, knocked on doors, and organized files of volunteers.
Here is my vote. It is the personal manifestation of this journey, but not the end. I voted for the man who was accountable and accessible. I voted for the man who understood the world and how to relate to it. I voted against the man who tried to turn the world into a Tabula rasa and failed. And I voted against the man who gave the troops the wrong mission.
I still have things to do. Tuesday I will poll watch. Wednesday I will drink beer and relax.