by Doctor Science
The second weekend in October I went down to Philadelphia with a bunch of other NJ Clinton volunteers to do Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) canvassing. PA, of course, is a "battleground" state, and NJ is not. We don't even have a Senate seat up this year.
It turns out I'm not a cost-effective canvasser these days: because of my knees, I move too slowly and painfully, especially up and down the lovely stone stoops in Center City. But I did register one voter ahead of the deadline, and talked to a bunch of people. And the next day I came down with bronchitis and I've been sick ever since.
Since I'm not going to be able to do much more than office support work (data entry, etc.) for the Hillary campaign before November 8th, I'm urging you-all to seriously consider signing up to work some part of Saturday, November 5th through Election Day. They'll need LOTS of people to canvass door-to-door, others to make phone calls, but there will be work for shy people, too: data entry, office support, and driving people to the polls.
It's not that the Presidential race is close and Every Vote Counts lest we have a horrible re-run of 2000: Sam Wang of Princeton Election Consortium (accept no substitutes! Your Yoda he will be!) gives a Bayesian probability of 99% that Hillary will be the winner.
Yet now Republican Senators are talking about not approving *any* possible Hillary nominee and letting SCOTUS be understaffed for *years*, while Representatives are already planning impeachment hearings. It's been going on for decades, but this time they're letting us know ahead of time: the Republican Party will not consider a Democratic President legitimate. When Donald Trump said he's keep us "in suspense" about whether he'd accept the election results if he lost, he was (as usual) baldly stating what the GOP already believes: democracy doesn't count if they don't win.
So we have to A) run up the score for Hillary, to make it as clear as possible how Republicans are rejecting democracy; B) get a Democratic majority in the Senate, so we can have things like a Supreme Court; C) try to get a Dem. majority in the House, so we can have things like a Federal budget.
Canvass for America! but also do it for yourself. The goal of canvassing isn't to debate people, it's to have a series of human-to-human contacts. It's extremely effective and profoundly democratic: in a democracy, power should scale with the number of human connections.
For you as a volunteer, canvassing will re-inforce the feeling of being in a democracy, where everyone is different but all have something to add. It will get you away from the people you know and regularly interact with, give you a sense of our country's scope and diversity.
Years ago in the run-up to the Iraq War, I wrote a post titled "Activism More Satisfying Than Ranting, Scientist Says". In this horribly stressful and drawn-out election season, helping GOTV will let you feel you've done something, it'll reduce your sense of helpless anxiety. It's also physically tiring, which will make it harder to get worked up over minor things.
Here's the link to learn more and to sign up. Depending on where you live, there may be lots to do nearby, or they may be looking for people to travel to the nearest "battleground". Young people, this is where you can shine! You may not have money, but you do have things like energy and better joints. Do what I can't do!