I love to talk about knocking on doors because it's the best part of campaigning. Talking with you on your porches is delightful. Two weeks ago everyone responded with one of three reactions when I introduce myself. People either smiled and laughed a bit because this never happened to them before, or they had a kind of shocked/confused look and began trying to figure out my party affiliation without actually asking, or they'd jump right to "Democrat or Republican?" It was always one of those three.
That has changed.
The happy, bemused reaction doesn't show up anymore.
It's been replaced by a sudden pivot to anger for a lot of you. The Kavanaugh hearings have gotten everyone backed into their tribal corners. I see it also in a fear of the front door. Fewer people are coming to the door at all. More of you answer with a skeptical, almost defensive look. Pretty quickly people jump to saying, "I can't believe what they're doing!?!" Here's the thing though, I really never know which way they mean in. Everyone is using the same line. It appears we're all just dumbfounded.
The other day this change in attitude reached it's zenith. I knocked on the front door of a house and heard two people talking and moving inside (you all make more noise than you think). But instead of coming to the door I heard one voice say to the other, "It's someone! It's someone! I'm scared!" Now the voice had clearly come from someone older and older people are more cautious but the couple inside didn't even approach the door. I never even saw their shadows. That was a low point. It really hurt. It hurt because it was the most profound example I've yet seen of our current problem.
We don't live lives of community the way we once did. There are lots of reason for it. It's too easy to live a life online, we're working longer hours, more of our families work multiple jobs, commutes are long, (even little things like not having to go to store and see other people as much because everything can be delivered) but whatever combination of reasons have contributed to a less community-oriented kind of living for you, it's important to know that this problem won't be changed without fixing some underlying issues.
I've said from the beginning of this campaign that the chief set of goals for a House member should be simple. That in every action they take the goal must be to make their district a place where the average person can get a good education at a reasonable cost, quality healthcare at a low cost, get a decent job that allows time at home without having to drive 90 minutes to get it, find a fairly priced home, and be able to age in place as they grow old.
The parties don't want that. They want to work on acquiring and maintaining their own power first, work on their social agenda for the country second, and (if it ranks at all) think about the district last. Their actions in service to their party goals always come first. That's why I'm not a member of a party. That's why I want your vote on November 6th.