Letter from a Swing State

Don't hate me because they want me. You, they could take or leave, but me, they are totally hot for. My name is Scott Cardwell and I live in a swing state. Okay, it's not Ohio, but it is Virginia. And as I write this, with two days remaining until the election, we are considered a "coin toss" state. So, me and my fellow Virginians are being hard-sell, heavy petting, under the shirt, over the bra, wooed to within an inch of our lives. And having lived in non-swing states for the majority of my adult life, I'm not going to lie, I have LOVED every second of it. The hoopla, the motorcades, the anthropology.

I know you have some hot races. The Elizabeth Warren/Scott Brown race may very well decide the Senate. And I'm guessing, even with the pledge for the civil campaign, your TVs are attack dogs (just like ours) that no amount of quick-draw DVR-ing can silence. But the big boys are here. The grass is heavily trod upon. And for someone like me, an opinionated loud mouthed political junkie, this Presidential season in Southern Virginia is the Big Rock Candy Mountain. In my bar, at the doors I knock on and at the check out counter, no place is safe from heated debate. Flocks of reporters have been dispatched for man-on-the-street interviews pushing microphones in our face asking our opinion, ad after television ad after television ad... "Barack Obama supports abortion AND gay rights. Do you?" Why, yes I do. Our TVs, our phones and our front doors have become portals for the candidates and their minions to come into our home and into our heads to make their case. Last week Joe Biden was at the armory in my town, today, the day before the election, Mitt's going to be at a local airfield and the other day my friend almost tripped over Paul Ryan. 

So, I have loved it. It was so empowering. Who doesn't want to be wanted?  But, just so very recently, sometime after the first debate something changed. I'm a single woman, small business owner, farmer who lives in Southern Virginia (talked about a courted demographic) but I am in NO WAY undecided. I am totally in the tank for Barack.  I have thrown events at my bar, I have knocked on doors. And just this past week as the skin tight race nears its end and we (shudder) stare down the barrel of a Romney/Ryan administration I have realized the deep dark mission that I lays before me...if I chose to accept it...apparently it's up to me to save the world.

You may say it's Narcissism born of the fact that my vote counts so much more than yours (and the citizens of forty-three other American states) and you may be right, because everyone else I know who is politically active here feels the same heavy responsibility. We are very well aware that EVERY VOTE COUNTS (remember Florida!). And we are beating the backwoods, the malls, the pseudo-hipster cafes for every single democrat we can find. And believe me, I live near Lynchburg (Not-Jack-Daniels-But -Jerry-Falwell) Virginia. Liberals are thin on the ground.

But let me reassure you. The Obama For America campaign is everywhere. They have apps for persuading, models for turnout, and good old fashion boot leather for persuading models to turnout. They reminded me on facebook to remind my friends Jon and Dan to vote since Jon and Dan's info shows that they live near me and support the President (yikes!). I just got an email offering to show me all the Scotts who had voted and reminded me to tell my friends Dan and Jon and Charlotte and Jaz that they can check every Dan and Jon and Charlotte and Jaz who has already voted. Wow. On Election Day I'll be knocking on known supporters doors, which, in some cases will be the second or third time someone has knocked on their door and probably the tenth time someone has contacted them from the campaign. And while it does border on harassment, hey, we're saving the world from Ayn Rand and his older brother (you know that guy nobody recognizes as your former governor?). And most people are pretty cool with it - they like being wanted too.

So, as the hour draws near and we've exhausted the campaign call lists, my friends and I decided we needed to do more, to find more voters. We figure to aim for real true direct contact so a couple of days ago we decided we're starting a good old fashion phone tree. Tonight we're encouraging anyone anywhere (this is where you come in) to call at least two friends or family members in swing states and make sure they are voting for the president and tell them to call two friends and so on and so on...

At my bar this evening we'll be organizing our phone tree around the endangered rights of women (Voices for Choices). We Virginians have suffered through  Bob "Vaginal Ultrasound" MacDonnell's frontal assault on us. It's an easy sell.

So your mission, if you chose to accept it, is to start a phone tree and save the world.

As for Virginia, we got this...I think...I'm pretty sure.

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