New insights from the campaign trail

The past few days have been brutal in terms of weather-humid, hot and occasionally drenching. Several times, I was ready to set off and knock on doors, but didn’t. Why? Because I put myself in the shoes of people behind those doors, asking myself, ‘If I’m hot, sweaty and feeling wrung out, would I want to talk politics?’ Many running for office might disagree with staying home, but the more I campaign, the more I realize that trusting my gut is absolutely necessary. The weather will improve.

Thus far, we’ve covered most of Cambridge and Ripley. I’m now working on Saint Albans, stopping at every house regardless of party affiliation or whether the people are registered. One gentleman I chatted with about his antique cars and his experience building them has never voted, but allowed as how he might this time around. Another is a dedicated firefighter, serving both St. Albans and Detroit as a volunteer. He’s worried about eroding financial support as well as the challenge of recruiting new volunteers. These are issues facing many rural towns and are the kind of problem a county-wide brainstorming session (something I’d like to see happen regularly, maybe as a potluck supper affair) might address.

Another gentleman is dealing with chronic Lyme disease, has no insurance and is very upset at the medical and insurance establishments’ reluctance/refusal to recognize that there is such a diagnosis. He told me about an eye-opening film, Under Our Skin ( that offers a penetrating look at the issue. I have ordered a copy so I can show it later in the campaign.

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