This election for me is one that will decide a future, as I enter into young adulthood I question what world will I live in? what morals and values will dictate our actions? and how will we as a people deal with the issues we face today? The Obama ’08 campaign inspired me to a passion for politics and civics, in the belief that social change is possible through people working together; who on their own maybe powerless but together are unstoppable. As this 2012 election has come to full force, the roads before us are set and now we must through the ballot decide, I realized that I as a passionate and committed citizen must act to nudge us in the right direction forward for progress we need in America.
I have volunteered at the Democrats Abroad campaign office in London every weekend for the past month, and through it I have grown to understand the importance of civic participation, engagement and action; we must act on an individual basis for without it the republic is lost. Without the people supporting and fighting for social justice and political virtue, corporations and billionaires take their place and we enter into a world of legalized corruption, bribery and fraud. It is through this understanding that we may realize that as one sits down at a table, in the grey of the Autumn London morning and grabs a pen, a call sheet and a calling script we are not simply fighting for Obama but we are fighting for democracy. We fight for a nation dictated by the voice of the people not the dollar bill, where the government is created by the people for the people and our civic participation is motivated not by money or a greed for power but for a desire to make a positive change in the world around us.
During my time as a volunteer, I have phone-banked, calling Americans overseas, ensuring that they received their ballot and that their voice will be heard in this most important of elections. I have canvassed voters in the streets of London, calling out for Americans handing them ‘www.votefromabroad.org’ stickers and cards, through rain or shine making a statement of support for a progressive America. Despite the number of wrong numbers, failed calls, ignored shout outs, and annoyed Americans, it was all worth it. When I called someone who didn’t realize they could vote in the election, or that hadn’t received their ballot and they didn’t realize they can send in a Federal Write in Absentee Ballot, or was having troubles dealing with the details of the ballot forms; and I helped them and solved their problems, I gave a voice to those who were silenced by confusion and bureaucracy. I was making real change and I have never felt such a feeling that I had done a good thing, that I am an active force for good in the world.
Some might question how one person can truly change the world if he does not have the power of money, influence or the media? I would answer that if I got 20 people to vote who wouldn’t have voted in the election in a tight swing state, or even 1, I am playing a part of history and that is how we truly through our democratic process can individually change the world for good. When I went through an entire call sheet, and every single one of them I simply connected to voice mail or was simply rung out, except for that one person who really needed help filling in a ballot request form or wanted to volunteer for the campaign in London; I always think to myself thats what makes this worth it.
That is why instead of hanging out with my friends, going to a party or movie, I’m stuck in a small room with 5 other people calling so many people that I’m getting an ear ache from the constant ring tone. Because at the end of it all, I am doing something worthwhile, I’m giving purpose to my life which would otherwise be filled with materialism, video games and parties. Because the fact is that some things are just too important to not get involved with, because life is more then just having fun but actually furthering the causes of virtue and goodness in the world and because if we are to help America in its progressive march forward, we must act now.
‘Hi [Insert Name Here], my name is Peter Price, I’m a volunteer with Democrats Abroad and I wanted to call you to make sure that you’ve sent off your ballot to the US. If you haven’t done so by now you should go ahead and fill out a federal write in Absentee Ballot, to ensure that your vote will be counted in this most important election. You can obtain this form by going to the website http://www.votefromabroad.org, by doing so you will help President Barack Obama win a tough race and four more years in the White House. Thank you so much for your time and please do vote in this most important election. Bye!’
By Peter Price