I’ve had the honor of working as an intern for President Obama’s re-election campaign these past few months. I have made more phone calls in one day then I do in an average year. I have engaged in more political conversations with strangers, then I would dream of having with friends. But all of the canvassing and late nights at the office have brought along with them the privilage of stories. Volunteers, staff, interns, and voters all coming together, all bringing their own stories, their lives, their struggles, their values. And I get to envelop myself in this beautiful, unified mash-up of humanity on a daily basis. I get to learn about people, mysef included, about where we’ve been, about where we need to go, about our society and all it’s parts, about our differences, and about our collectiveness. It is an opportunity that I am indescribably grateful for, and it is an experience I would not trade for the world.
Just this past week, I was training a few volunteers on canvassing to homes and doing voter registration. I was sharing my advice, and they were sharing their concerns. One of our more experienced canvassers shared with me the story of a women she had encountered who, after giving a summary of her wholly democratic voting history, passionately expressed her support for Mitt Romney in the election. When asked why, she referenced the President’s recent verbalized support of same-sex couples plead for marriage rights. That was it. Obama supports everyone’s right to marry who they choose. Not ‘Obama is ruining the economy.’ Not ‘Obama is forcing me to get health care.’ Not even ‘Obama lets women kill babies.’ Any of which I could have brushed off as an closeminded and uneducated response. This, was malice. It is, unreasonable malice.
As it does for many women, it boils my blood to think that we live in the twenty-first century, still under the rule of a government who consistently tries to berate and devalue women. But I cannot bare through the shock and muster up enough energy to get my blood even luke warm in response to this women’s statement. It sickens me, drains my usual firey passion for politics and justice. It breaks my heart, and my resolve. What is it that I am fighting for? What is it that all the women before me, have fought for? Have we fought to give rights to women who would sacrifice them in exchange for the stripping of other’s rights? Have we fought for a loose-loose society? A society where we value other’s oppression, more than our own progression?