Thursday, March 15, 2018

Involvement with Politics

If that's how they're going to be, the heck with 'em.

Illinois's Representative Dan Lipinski is a Democratic member of the Problem-Solver's Caucus. He is running in a primary election and is being challenged by a candidate supported by the left wing of the Democratic party. No Labels is staunchly supporting Rep. Lipinski, and pointed out that, much as the Tea Party successfully rooted out moderate Republicans a few years ago, the left wing Democrats are attempting to do that to moderate Democrats. They've identified bipartisan Democrats as targets.

Consequently, No Labels is attempting to fight back, or so an email I recently got from them said. The email invited anyone who wants to get involved by either sending text messages or going to Chicago and knocking on doors to reply. I want to help. I am very concerned about the partisan divide that is not only making it virtually impossible for Congress to do anything ( some people think keeping Congress from doing anything would be good news, but I am not among them ), but also making rational, civil and reasonable conversation about political disagreement almost a thing from a quaint and bygone era. I thought sure, I'll click the link in the email. Knocking on doors and speaking politics is not my cup of tea, but I can and am willing to send text messages.

The signup page to which the link took me asked for my Cell Phone number. "Hmmmm," I thought, as though it hadn't occurred to me if I'm going to send text messages my cell phone number might get out. "I'll have to give this some more thought."

While I thought about it, No Labels published another email, inviting those interested in helping on this topic to attend a telecon about the process on the following day. Naturally, I attended that telecon. I learned quite a bit. Bernie Sanders is leading the left-wing Democrats supporting the candidate opposing Rep Lipinski; No Labels had found an app for the texting process, automating almost all the work; No Labels had demographic data and the text messages would target likely voters not already committed to Rep Lipinski; my cell phone number would be invisible in this process; I might get into a discussion about the election with the recipients of the text messages, and the app provides ready responses to many anticipated questions and comments.

Prior to the call, I had wondered whether No Labels is worthy of my support if I am afraid of providing it my cell phone number. Conversely, I wondered if I am way too suspicious of everything and everybody if I am unwilling to give this political organization, to which I've already given money and lots of verbal support, my cell phone number. I had pretty much decided I was in even before the phone call; the phone call cemented it.

As soon as the call was over I went to the provided web site and did as instructed. The next page was a donation page. "What the heck … I'm a dues paying member of this organization." I closed the tab … and nothing happened.

"If that's how they're going to be, the heck with 'em," I thought. I went to bed, feeling I had done my best to get involved but was denied for not wanting to donate … "not wanting to pay to play," one might snidely say.

The next morning I received two significant text messages … one welcomed me to the pursuit and provided a URL to get going and the other a welcome with some helpful directions. I am about to join the political fray in the United States.

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