If you ask people around here, this economy sucks. You can see the disgust on their faces. You can hear the despair in their voices. People are confused and are on the verge of giving up. How did this happen?
I am office manager and volunteer coordinator for Barack Obama's headquarters in Defiance, OH. I hear the agony and outrage in the voices of people who come in for various yard signs and bumper stickers. Some say, "I've never voted Democratic before, but this time I am," then there's the staunch Democrat who says, "I've completely had it, we've got to have a change or I don't know what will happen to our country or to me." "I can't bear the thought of Obama not winning this election. What will we do if he doesn't win?" It's a tone that has grown more desperate over time, and I have never heard anything like it before in my life.
I hear real fear in voices when friends and neighbors say they don't know how they will pay their gas bill this winter, how they can possibly raise the money they need to send their children to college. Or how the price of everything keeps going up. Sometimes I hear about why they think it's useless to look for a job when the costs associated with daycare are so astronomical. The stories vary, but they have a common theme.
George Bush, Dick Cheney and the Republican Party have put this country dead last. They have squandered the promise of America and they've shoved the middle class over the side of the sinking ship. They either forgot or didn't care that the middle class built this economy and our country. I suspect it's the latter, but that's not the point. The point is that the American people feel ignored, cheated and angry that this has happened to them.
National pride is a thing of the past; how could it not be, when the very people we've entrusted to govern and take care of Americans bend them over instead? This election has become more personal, because we recognize that if John McCain is elected to office, the middle class is no more.
People here don't appreciate being compared to "Joe the Plumber". We feel we are unique and individual and take offense to being lumped into a category and told we are all alike. We are all looking for a leader who is in tune with us, a leader that recognizes the importance of the middle class, and that just isn't John McCain. He has never mentioned the middle class by name, and believe me people have listened closely to hear if he would. They feel he doesn't see them, and in midst of the worst crisis in American history, we feel that John McCain has abandoned us and put his own interests ahead of ours. We feel he is out of touch and has no clue which direction he wants to go.
We've seen our country at it's worst and we're sick and tired of being sick and tired. We're tired of having to worry and being called "whiners" for our trouble. We're sick of the government taking everything we have to support their greed, and most of all, we're tired of feeling as though we've lost control of our lives and our country.
We've had enough of being shoved onto the back burner so Republicans can get richer. We want our country back and we're voting to make sure that happens. It may be too late for some of us in this economy, but maybe it isn't too late for our children. If John McCain wins the presidency, the middle class will disappear along with the American dream, and that, "my friends" is a sad state of affairs.
The Obama-Biden campaign is something to behold. We have an army of volunteers who are out canvassing neighborhoods on the weekends, making phone calls for hours at a time every night of the week, and doing anything else that needs to be done. Our volunteers come in every shape, size and age. Young and old are here working together to end this dark chapter in America's history, and believe me we intend to end it.
The growing sentiment here at this particular office is "No Way, No How, No McCain" Not this time!