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Sat Apr 9, 2016, 03:51 PM

Insurgents

“Share your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into your house;
When you see the naked, cover him…..
Then shall your light break forth like dawn
And your healing shall spring up speedily”
-- Isaiah; 58: 7-9


Two of my cousins and I spent several hours this morning and afternoon, going door-to-door in Binghamton, NY, campaigning for Bernie Sanders. We joined with the effort that Citizens Action was coordinating. It was the first time that one of my cousins has done this; he has been involved in politics primarily through the carpenters’ union, and a few “local” environmental and social justice issues.

The other cousin has worked with me on local, state, national, and international issues for over 40 years. Thus, he has gone door-to-door with me dozens of times over the years. The three of us together made for a fun, effective campaign unit. More, while campaigning for Bernie, we were also advocating for other progressive candidates.

Per usual in upstate New York, the weather kept flip-flopping between pleasant and a bitter cold, complete with wing and mixed precipitation. The residents who opened numerous doors for us noted that they admired our dedication, to be outside walking the streets on such a day.

I selected a section of the city where both low-income and college students reside. Other groups were selecting the neighborhoods that might tend to get more attention during campaign season. My cousins were happy to let me decide what neighborhood we would venture into. And I have always been most comfortable with those marginalized by our society.

In times past, I have had associates ask me why I opt to invest as much time as I do in efforts to organize the poor. In fact, I’ve actually had well-intentioned associates tell me that I “waste” too much time on “those people.” But “those people” are my people. Indeed, I have had the opportunity in my life to hang out with rich and powerful people and power and seemingly powerless people -- and everything in between. I identify with the poor and marginalized. It’s as simple as that.

Our results were interesting and encouraging. There were, of course, a lot of folks on the latest record of registered voters there who had moved since the 2014 elections. This is to be expected among both the poor and college student populations. But there were also new residents, who will be participating in the Democratic Primary.

We also stopped in an old dinner, and did some campaigning as we had coffee and/or lunch. The owners of that dinner seemed amused, at first, that we set up a temporary “headquarters” in one of the booths; by the time we were preparing to leave, they were openly supporting our effort to get the vote out for Bernie.

Even within the two sub-groups we spoke with -- the poor and college students (including poor college students) -- we encountered a wide variety of people. Some were old, some were young; both male and female; a variety of skin colors; and on and on. While we were not attempting a scientific survey -- and the results are thus important in the limited context of one large neighborhood -- listening to the residents’ points of view proved worth-while. Two people stated that they might eventually vote for Donald Trump in the general election. One person said he avoids politics altogether, because he is convinced the last “honest” presidential candidate was Ronald Reagan. And only two people stated that they may vote for Hillary in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Other than that, everyone we spoke with was strongly supporting Bernie Sanders. And while this is only speculation on my part, I suspect that they are not among those being polled these days. Today, their voices are not being heard outside of the Sanders campaign. Yet, the Sanders campaign holds the promise of them being heard in the future.

The three of us are all old men. We have each been a registered Democrat since we reached the age where we could vote. But, to a large degree, our lives are behind us. We weren’t campaigning so much for ourselves and our generation’s benefit, as for our children and grandchildren’s generations. And for those who are to come after them.

Still, we had an amazing day. One of my two cousins is the man who was in court one county away during much of the week, for the trial of the guy who shot him, and murdered his son. It was his first time going door-to-door. I had been designated as our spokesman, but I was happy when he took over being our main speaker at several houses. My other cousin was surprised , considering how effective the other one was, that this was his first time.

Both this evening and tomorrow, we will all be working for the Sanders campaign. Each of us will be focusing on our hometowns, and preparing for Bernie’s speech on Monday in Binghamton. I know that Hillary is favored in New York, and I understand why. Still, I believe that the “experts” are going to be surprised by the eventual outcome in our state.

There is an energy force, gaining strength here. There are people who not only want change, but who are willing to work hard to bring that change about. On the ride home, my cousin asked me if I thought that our effort today actually made a difference in the that eventual outcome? I said that I did. Even today, from that small office of Citizens Action, there were lots of people volunteering to canvas different parts of the city. No one group -- much less, individual -- did “the” one thing that will decide the primary election. At the same time, every group and every individual were combining to take one of the most important actions that we can, to influence the outcome of the election contest. And true social justice can only come about by this type of active engagement in politics.

Peace,
H2O Man

52 replies, 2004 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Insurgents (Original post)
H2O Man Apr 2016 OP
cyberswede Apr 2016 #1
H2O Man Apr 2016 #16
kgnu_fan Apr 2016 #2
H2O Man Apr 2016 #17
pdsimdars Apr 2016 #3
H2O Man Apr 2016 #18
antigop Apr 2016 #4
H2O Man Apr 2016 #19
Scuba Apr 2016 #5
H2O Man Apr 2016 #20
Xipe Totec Apr 2016 #6
H2O Man Apr 2016 #21
mmonk Apr 2016 #7
H2O Man Apr 2016 #22
Avalon Sparks Apr 2016 #8
H2O Man Apr 2016 #23
RiverLover Apr 2016 #9
H2O Man Apr 2016 #24
wezl Apr 2016 #10
H2O Man Apr 2016 #25
redwitch Apr 2016 #11
H2O Man Apr 2016 #26
Gregorian Apr 2016 #12
H2O Man Apr 2016 #31
ms liberty Apr 2016 #13
H2O Man Apr 2016 #34
hootinholler Apr 2016 #14
H2O Man Apr 2016 #35
dreamnightwind Apr 2016 #15
H2O Man Apr 2016 #36
JudyM Apr 2016 #27
H2O Man Apr 2016 #38
highprincipleswork Apr 2016 #28
H2O Man Apr 2016 #39
dchill Apr 2016 #29
H2O Man Apr 2016 #40
democrank Apr 2016 #30
H2O Man Apr 2016 #41
cyberpj Apr 2016 #32
H2O Man Apr 2016 #43
Sensitive soul Apr 2016 #33
H2O Man Apr 2016 #45
Sensitive soul Apr 2016 #52
Uncle Joe Apr 2016 #37
H2O Man Apr 2016 #46
Hydra Apr 2016 #42
H2O Man Apr 2016 #47
Octafish Apr 2016 #44
H2O Man Apr 2016 #49
hobbit709 Apr 2016 #48
H2O Man Apr 2016 #50
Kurovski Apr 2016 #51

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 03:56 PM

1. K&R

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:07 PM

16. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 03:57 PM

2. Peace

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:08 PM

17. Monday.

And I will contact you.


Thanks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 03:59 PM

3. K & R

 

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Response to pdsimdars (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:08 PM

18. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:02 PM

4. thanks for your post. I appreciate it. nt

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Response to antigop (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:09 PM

19. Thanks.

It's been a good day. I am very much tired out -- from the week -- but am mighty happy this evening.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:02 PM

5. Thanks for this and all you do.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:16 PM

20. Thank you.

I love going door-to-door.

A while back (well before this Democratic primary) a friend and I were going door-to-door in what is an upper-middle class neighborhood in a town not far from Binghamton. We had information on some toxic industrial waste dump sites in the town. Three guys wanted to initiate fist-fights with me. (Well, they pretended they wanted to.) It upset my friend. However, since then, I convinced him to run for a local public office. I ran his campaign, and he won by one vote!

I liked the people at Citizen Action. Having that many volunteer teams hitting the streets was cool, too.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:17 PM

21. Outstanding!

Thank you for ths!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:10 PM

7. Recommended.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:17 PM

22. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:11 PM

8. Thank you for BEING THE BERN!

I thank you for all your hard work, and sharing your experience!

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Response to Avalon Sparks (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:19 PM

23. Thank you!

Today was a lot of fun. It wasn't hard work, even though at my age, it tired me out.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:13 PM

9. Your posts (& you!) are a bright light.

H20 Man. You are appreciated!

Thanks also for going out & giving your time for the progressive movement & Bernie. You're truly a gift!

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:23 PM

24. Thanks!

I think that, when it comes to local political organizing and action, I must have some type of obsessive-repulsive disorder. Sometimes are more fun than others. The Sanders revolution is one of the most pleasurable that I can recall.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:14 PM

10. Peace

Thanks for your post

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Response to wezl (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:24 PM

25. Thanks, wezl !

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:16 PM

11. Thanks H2O Man!

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Response to redwitch (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:24 PM

26. Thanks, Friend!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:36 PM

12. It seems miraculous, given how uninformed most voters seem to be, that Bernie has made it this far.

On one hand your diner transitioned from disbelief to acceptance. Then others seem to be uncertain who to vote for. But I think it's that people don't know WHAT to vote for. After all, is there any form of feedback that holds the government to standards, which Americans can easily access, and trust? That exists in social media now, but that's not mainstream.

Bless you for taking the effort to get out the word. I'm learning here. What I hear is that when you go out and do what you did, you have fun.

So this is rural New York. Interesting peek into that slice of demographic.

I see the motivation. What you're doing is outstanding. You've brought warmth. As I read this, I was imagining those people telling others, and sending a cascade of Bernie support.

And thanks for sharing this with us. I watch, and hopefully learn.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:32 PM

31. Right.

There is a whole wide spectrum of voters, and potential voters, out there. Within that, a person could come to think that they are either alone, or in a tiny minority, out there by themselves.

Indeed, the media has, for generations, attempted to portray things political as being limited to a tiny range: Democrats versus republicans. Today, of course. the evidence of conflicts within each party are too intense for the media to ignore. And the internet allows people to connect with other like-minded folks across the country.

For me, going door-to-door is a blast. If I have any talent in politics, it would be canvasing.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 04:49 PM

13. K&R.

Thank you, and your cousins - I would love to see Bernie do well in NY, but to win it? I'd be over the moon happy!

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:30 PM

34. Thanks.

I think that there may be a divide between upstate and downstate in the Democratic primary.And that includes the upstate college student population. I've had several calls from students, regarding sending in their absentee ballots, this evening - night.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 05:32 PM

14. It seems that Bernie has out performed the polls in nearly every state so far

I agree the polls are mis-sampled these days, but they are good enough to judge trends.

I think at this point we need to also speak about holding the coalition together in the long term. It is rare for a coalition to acheive what Bernie has on the first try. Should he not gain the nomination it means we have to work on the down ticket elections to get the changes we need. Perhaps form the Berdie Coalition.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:31 PM

35. Good point.

Keeping the foundation, and working to make it grow, is part of the revolution.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:04 PM

15. Thanks for this post

and for your work for Bernie and progressive change. Also very well written, as always!

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:32 PM

36. Thank you.

That's very nice of you. I appreciate it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:25 PM

27. Thanks so much for reaching out to NY voters! Research shows that the positive affect for a

candidate after this type of face to face contact extends to more than 1 extra person beyond each one you spoke with. It totally matters!

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Response to JudyM (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:35 PM

38. Right.

Grass roots activism is both important and enjoyable. Obviously, there are some frustrations along the way. And some disappointments. But it extends further, as you note, than we may be aware of.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:26 PM

28. Thank you for your dedication. Inspiring!

 

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Response to highprincipleswork (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:40 PM

39. Thanks.

I've been enjoying campaigning for Bernie, as much as for any of the candidates that I've actively supported. I invest more energy on local-to-the House & Senate campaigns (in total) than to presidential contests. But this year is far more important than those past, and this candidate offers the very real potential for real change in our country.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:29 PM

29. K&R, and THANK YOU!

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Response to dchill (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:40 PM

40. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 06:29 PM

30. Thank you, H20 Man.

I appreciate your efforts and respect your good, kind heart.

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Response to democrank (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:41 PM

41. Thanks!

That means a lot to me!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)


Response to cyberpj (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:17 AM

43. Thanks!

I remember when that movie came out. It appeared, to me, to be a modern version of the esoteric tale of "the hero's journey." It was not really different from the ancient stories. It was common ground between the past and present.

I like to see the combined strength of various groups joining together today, and finding common ground within the Sanders revolution. It's impressive that this one elderly US Senator understood the need for him to step up, and give voice to a large collection of people who have been denied a voice for so long.

We can see that our opposition has taken note of this change in the force. At present, they do not want to join us upon the common ground that offers the best potential for all people. But, in time, they will.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 07:49 PM

33. You

Are a much better person than I an I admire you for that.

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Response to Sensitive soul (Reply #33)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:24 AM

45. "I, Patrick,

a sinner, quite uncultivated and the least of all the faithful, and utterly despicable to many ...." -- St. Patrick's Confessio

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #45)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 02:15 PM

52. Low self esteem does not the evidence show that "Patrick" did much to help others and was kind.

And I went about among you, and everywhere for your sake, in danger, and as far as the outermost regions beyond which no one lived, and where no one had ever penetrated before, to baptize or to ordain clergy or to confirm people. Conscientiously and gladly I did all this work by God's gift for your salvation.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 9, 2016, 09:34 PM

37. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for sharing and your good works, H2O Man.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:25 AM

46. Thanks, Uncle Joe!

I've got to rest these old bones today, in hopes of making it to Bernie's rally tomorrow.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 12:21 AM

42. Good job!

Happy to be one of your people

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Response to Hydra (Reply #42)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:26 AM

47. Thanks, Hydra!

Proud to be on the same team with you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:20 AM

44. Keep up the Good Fight!

New York is gonna shock the world!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #44)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:39 AM

49. It's interesting.

The Democratic Party is strong in our state. But it is not always unified, and unfocused strength isn't often a safe bet.

Hillary's re-election to the US Senate was an overwhelming victory. But things have changed over the years, from when she first ran, and when she was re-elected. Even within the organized party, there are differences between, say, the urban, suburban, and rural areas in NYS.

What is fascinating to me is that there are lots of people who are registered to vote, who have not made up their minds yet. If they vote for Hillary, she will have a comfortable victory. If they go for Bernie, it will be mighty close.

These old bones are too tired and sore to hit the streets today. But the telephone allows me the ability to continue with my campaigning for Bernie. The rally is tomorrow, and then another week to keep on fighting that Good Fight.

Note: The internet also comes in handy, as far as communicating with students on upstate colleges & universities!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 09:34 AM

48. What you encountered pretty much is what I run into out there.

The marginalized have hope for Bernie and know that Hillary or the Republicans will just screw them over once again.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #48)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 10:03 AM

50. Exactly!

Poor people might not have extensive formal educations, but they are not dumb. They simply have had a different type of education. Poor people do not have access to the political power that big money grants, but they are not powerless. With Bernie, they recognize that there is a presidential candidate who actually advocates for them. And it's the first time since RFK in 1968, and Jesse Jackson in the 1980s, that a candidate with the potential to win our party's nomination, that this has happened.

More, Bernie's campaign highlights that the shrinking middle class has more in common with the poor, than with the wealthy. It makes far more sense for the middle class to break bread with the poor, than to hope for crumbs from the opulent wealthy.

That is real power. It is of more value than $21 million in speaker's fees from Wall Street.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 01:24 PM

51. K&R

And thank you.

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