I got a piece of weird political mail the other day.
It lists my name, along with the names of about 10 people in my neighborhood, some on my street, some on streets near, and then in two adjacent columns, headed by recent election dates, either a blank or a "voted" next to each name.
In the other part of the piece it talks about doing one's civic duty and voting in the upcoming election.
I'm guessing this is something my party put together trying to personalize the voting process and make us think about each others' voting record? It seems so weird, though. They wouldn't want to do the "get out the vote" thing for members of another party, and I'm registered with a party through my voter registration.
While the local county clerks obviously keep track of who's voted, I wouldn't have thought that those records would be available to just anyone who walked in.
I'm sort of creeped out by the mail. I think there are two reasons. First, it identifies me to other folks as a registered member of the party, just as it identifies those other folks to me as a registered member of the party. Second, I live on a street with 9 houses, near other streets with lots more houses, and there is only a small number of names on the list. Does that mean that only a few of us are members of this party? Or did they just put in a few on each mailing list? Are there really so few of us?
A few years ago, I was at a family party and a cousin's wife asked me something about if it was horrible to live in an area that was so not where we're from. (Yes, people where I'm from are as parochial sometimes as people from anywhere.) And I said, no, there were great people here, and jerks, just as there were great people and jerks where we're from. There are really fine people whose politics I disagree with, and there are jerks whose politics are right in line with mine.
And I believe that. But the attacks on teachers and public employees here have been so viscious and so sustained that I also feel a bit that voting for/with the attackers is personal. And I'm tired of feeling attacked.
I'm also tired of the emails and mailings I get from my party re-emphasizing the nastiness.
I have friends who've been working dedicatedly on election stuff, and if we lose, I'm sure I'll feel bad that I didn't do more to contribute, but I'm so sick of all this. And to think that it's going to go on at probably this level and more into November makes me want to wretch.
I'm going to dig up some irises today to make room for some strawberries. And I'm going to give the irises to some other folks, one a neighbor who isn't on the list, and one a colleague whose politics I'm unsure of. And I sure as heck hope they enjoy the flowers.