Leave Everything On The Field

I’m writing this at 2 AM on Election Day. Dixville Notch and Hart’s Landing, two little towns in New Hampshire, have already voted (they vote at midnight EST). Both towns voted for Barack Obama.

Not that that result is indicative of anything (Dixville Notch is hardly a bellwether), but the organizers assigned to those two towns have earned their salary. 

That’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because over the last day, I got email messages and twitters from friends, and all had one thing in common:

They were worried

Most of them recalled 2004, and how the mid-day exits showed Kerry running away with Pennsylvania, and then how that early promise somehow became 4 million extra voters for President Bush, which allowed him to become the first President since his father to claim a majority of the popular vote. 

Now, in fairness, a lot of my friends are taking the day off in order to help get out the vote. If you’re one of them, congratulations! If you’re in Denver, I’ll see you at some point today. 

If you’re not…well, think of it this way:

If you’ve put the same amount of effort into this election that you put into 2004 and, what the heck, into 2000, then, at best, we’ll see the same result — which means that you’d better get used to hearing the words, “My friends…” a lot, and hope that you hear them for the next four years. 

I don’t try to judge. I’m lucky — I have a job where I can take Election Day off. Maybe you’re not as lucky. 

It’s not like it takes a lot of effort, though. If you haven’t been able to make it to a phone bank, if you haven’t been able to canvass — put it plainly, if you haven’t been able to volunteer at all this fall, there’s one thing you can do:

Call 15 of your friends and family tomorrow. Tell them that, if they haven’t voted, they need to do so TODAY. 

This is it. You do *not* want to wake up Wednesday morning and see on the TV that John McCain has defied political death yet again. 

After putting in all the time I did over the last 18 months to elect Barack President, I faced a choice in the week after he accepted the nomination at Mile High:

I could write (and not take as active a role in the campaign) or I could help give the boulder one last mighty shove. I chose the latter — there will be time enough to write, and tell some of the tales of this campaign, I hope. 

I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and take a lesser role. So I traveled some, all on my own, and helped give the boulder one last mighty shove. 

Tomorrow will tell whether or not we were successful. Either way, though, I’ll know I left everything on the field. 

Will you?

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