Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Koch Brothers Defeated by Eighty-Two-Year-Old Man in Wheelchair

Only in America.

This is how a one-legged, 82-year-old man is going to defeat the Koch brothers and their millions.

Even as I write this, my friend of 46 years, George Stamfen, is headed out in his wheelchair to lead a team of ten other retirees in doing voter registration throughout today.

Tomorrow he's going to "hold signs".  That means stand on street corners or on overpasses with signs promoting a candidate or the Democratic ticket.  Except George will be sitting down in his wheelchair.

The next day he's going to walk precincts. Actually he will be wheeling them.  Precinct work means going to the voter's door to promote your candidate.  At the same time you find out if the voter supports your candidate and if so, you note that down so that voter is targeted for get-out-the-vote on election day.

That's what wins elections. It's George negotiating getting up and down curbs and finding a doorbell he can reach.  Not the Koch brothers' millions.  And here's why.

First, the sincerity and personal effort of a volunteer precinct worker impresses the hell out of voters even if the worker is not in a wheelchair.  "Someone came to my door!"  Paid workers don't have the sincerity, and voters aren't dumb.  They can spot phonies, i.e. paid precinct workers. And paid precinct workers often cheat.  Check the dumpsters for GOP materials tossed by their paid workers instead of delivered door-to-door.  (The Kochs say they are planning to spend millions on precinct work and get-out-the-vote.  Good.  They're wasting their money.  The motto of the paid precinct workers is "Take the money and run!")

Second, any ads the Kochs  buy aren't nearly as effective as precinct work and get-out-the-vote.  When was the last time you bought something because of an ad on TV?   And haven't the big spenders in politics heard about the fast forward button?  No one watches TV ads!  Especially not campaign ads. In a campaign a TV smear job may indeed have to be refuted, but elections are not won by TV ads.

This flies in the face of all you've heard from the media and from such tub-thumping fund-raisers as Nancy Pelosi.  The media and Nancy want your money, not because it wins elections but because it finances their organizations. The media lives on ad income; Nancy's whole position is built on hiring flashy headquarters and lots of staff and cars, plus doling out campaign funds to her fellow Congress members so they will continue to support her leadership.

By contrast, you can build a local campaign organization in a cheap storefront or someone's garage and, beyond rent money, only need enough additional to buy pizza for the volunteers who are hungry after all that walking.

Third reason that George will beat the Kochs?  The wheelchair.  It's for real.  So is his age.  Eighty-two and still concerned about America.  The voters  know that what he's doing isn't for himself and his future.  He doesn't have a future.

He's doing it for them and their kids and their grandkids.  He cares about the people and he cares about America.  Only by a Herculean effort that comes from the heart could he have gotten to their door that day.

But each of you who does precinct work has similar impact.  You took the TIME out of your life to come to that door.  In this day of busy busy busy that sacrifice speaks volumes.

The voters tune out the TV ads.  But they will never tune out that you came to their doors.

Now go and save America and the world and the future one doorstep at a time!  Poke the Kochs!  Right in the eyes! And make mine a mushroom pizza please.

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