As a Travis County precinct chair, Arthur has hundreds of door-hangers for the midterm election. They feature his fucking face. Not Arthur’s. That’d be great. It’s the President of the United States at his most puffed up, dour and demoralizing. VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS it says. YOU KNOW WHY.
We understand the message.
We embrace the message.
We live and loathe the consequences every day.
But this tactic feels cheap as hell. Rile us up to vote? Vomit all the way to the polls? Nobody needs that, it’s painful and pathetic. Couldn’t we do better than fear? Maybe it’s effective, but it makes me feel small. Stooping to a dungeon level, a lowest common demon-ator, a reckless morbid willful failure of imagination for a clear, cohesive vision for an alternate future.
When standing on the doorstep of a neighbor stranger, Arthur starts with the flyer’s reverse, a strip of smiling postage-sized Democratic candidates. But on the other side, the monster still waits, the focal point of all propaganda, hope’s blackhole.
It’s been a rough year.
For me, I mean, personally. Often I don’t have the energy, physical or emotional, to attend the many meetings, functions, workbee potlucks, parties big and small for the party. I hate being The Wife. Nor do I want to stick in people’s minds, get in their text trees, mailing lists, blah, because face it. To show up is to be solicited for yet more time and money. Sure, this is my privilege showing. I have the option to opt out, tune out, turn off.
But also, face it. Arthur’s efforts are mostly unpaid. As a family we donate hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars, whenever he hits the streets, attends the meetings, jeers and steers thought across social media and coordinates rural candidates all across Texas. Someone’s got to bring home and fry the facon.
But this? The problem of his face? I got this.
$10 for a thousand dead eyes and the stomach to stare at him as long as it takes to glue the tiny blinders to poke the bear and blunt the edge, the anguish of reminder. Yeah, he’s still there. Not stopping, not going anywhere.
Until we act. If nothing else, vote the shit out of this election.
As a Travis County precinct chair with hundreds of door-hangers, Arthur has knocked on hundreds of doors, and I am so proud of him.
Thank you, my love, from every loop-de-loop of my heart, for your presence, persistence and your own fearless, stalwart heart that (despite my best efforts 🙂 ) forever beats for the South, the belief in better angels and the redemption of its soul. I love you.