My thirteen-year-old daughter, for the hundredth time showing her colors as the child of two English professors, asked, “So Mom, who’s your audience for this blog?” I, showing my colors as the compulsive-A-student-always, replied, “I’m glad you asked. I’m writing this blog for people like me—people who have been reliable Democratic voters but who haven’t been very involved in the party.”
But that’s only part of the reason. Other people may not need to read my blog, and other people may not in fact end up reading my blog. But I need to write it, because I know what a lazy-ass I can be. I know how much I would prefer to spend my Saturday morning reading the news in my jammies to going across town to the Democratic Party meeting. I know how much of a tightwad I am. I know how much I hate knocking on strangers’ doors—I canvassed for Greenpeace the summer I was 18. The worst moment wasn’t when someone berated me for ten minutes about how stupid I was to support Greenpeace. The worst moment was when I knocked on the door after that and dissolved into tears as soon as the homeowner opened the door.
I have a full-time job and two kids, and I’d rather spend my spare time on things I like than things that are hard, but I know that my laziness, multiplied by a few million people, means that now friends, family members, and my fellow human beings are in danger from our racist, xenophobic, misogynistic bully-elect. So I’m writing this blog because I’m afraid that without it, my good intentions will dissipate until about June 2020, and that’s too late. I’m not a religious person, but I have been at times in the past, and I know that “having a practice” is good for making progress, even if one doesn’t know the plan for how or where one is going to progress. I am writing my good intentions publicly—I will contribute somehow to Democratic Party victories in 2018 and in 2020—because then I’ll feel ashamed if I go back to my complacent ways.
Rachel E. Hile