Bittersweet: Ruminations on My Year in Politics

Well, at 21-22, I’ve finally voted, worked my first election job, worked my first campaign job, volunteered for my first campaign(s), won my first campaigns, probably lost my first campaigns, and partied with/watched an election with a Congressional candidate for the first time. It’s been one hell of a year.

Super Tuesday: Worked the poll for the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Probably the hardest-earned $howeverthefuckmuchmoney of my life, what with the alternating between soul-crushing boredom and ultra-mission-critical, fast-paced action until 0-dark-30 with one of the sweetest, kindest old souls I’ve ever met plus a withering half-demented simpleton hag. Not a day for moderation, that one. Well, I got myself a good god damned appreciation of just what it takes to make democracy run in this country.

Decline to Sign/No on 8 (volunteer): While trying to fend off institutionalized discrimination and work for fairness and equality (oh yeah, and godless heathenry), I got my first death threat, learned the joys of In-Person Volunteer Recruiting and gay apathy, learned to stop lying to myself about my sexual orientation, and came out of the closet. And then, months later, watched the aforementioned election with one hell of a Congressional candidate, too close to call but losing so far. (Thankfully, the gap is close now; 51-48% in favor, as opposed to the wider lead earlier in the night.)

No on 4 (volunteer): I did shit-all for this campaign, but I do have a classified talking points memo from Planned Parenthood, so what the hell, I’ll say I volunteered for it and take part in the likely win.

DNC fundraising: Saved up for this academic year’s book-learnin’ by pouring my heart and soul into these hills, begging Joe Democrat for loose campaign contributions. I’ll call this one a win, since we seem to have won the House, the Senate and the White House. By the way, I cried during Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. Yeah, I felt like I god damn well did something. This has really been a special experience I won’t forget for a long, long time.

Congressional campaign (volunteer): Showed up late on the scene, first volunteering for my candidate’s campaign on Election Day itself. Seems I had forgotten all about it until I got a robocall the night before with their phone number, and thought, “Hey, I’ll call and see if they need some help–maybe instead of spending the day sitting in front of MSNBC and gnawing my fingers to the bone, I’ll do something to end the reign of the Hunter Clan!” Didn’t end up helping much, as my candidate seems to have been soundly defeated with over 60% of precincts reporting. I met the man himself and got the chance to shoot the shit with him for most of the day and night, and drank myself silly with his staff and sizable volunteer squad in a ritzy downtown hotel. Although the ever-honorable retired SEAL Commander abstained, I still got to drink with a Congressional campaign watching the election in the official campaign hotel suite, and got to feel like I was a part of it. Hey, what the hell, that’s pretty cool, right? And I would’ve taken part in a real Hollywood Moment ™ if we had actually pulled off the upset. Ah well - the force is strong with those Hunter assholes, I guess. (Either that, or the Hunter campaign successfully fooled thousands of voters into thinking they were voting for the experienced Duncan Hunter and not the newbie Duncan D. Hunter with the same earmark legacy and pork-barrel legacy.)

So I’m looking at one big win, one little win, one toss-up (probably narrow loss) and one substantial and personal loss. Running the gamut on my first try–ain’t bad for the life experience department, eh?

Well, I’m fucking tired. I hope you enjoyed my little ramb