Fresh Paint
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Saturday Report
Friends, don't listen to the polls. There are Democrats in Wisconsin, and they're as hopping mad as people are elsewhere.

Back from a very full day in Beloit, Wisconsin, helping out the office with the canvass again. This time we went to the rural township outside of town, where you really couldn't walk from house to house, and unless you had a car with good mileage, you could barely drive from house to house.

I guess I had expected stereotypes, and for them all to greet me with shotguns waving Bush-Cheney signs, but I was mistaken. And fewer, nicer dogs, perhaps because they had room to run.

Some families had been on their land for generations, now supplementing income with a second or third job. Some sold eggs (saw roosters pecking around the yard) or raised chihuahuas (or both). Saw one of the most impressive arrays of tomato vines I've ever seen, growing up beautifully built wooden cages surrounded by lush, green lawn.

Oh, there was some wooly Bush logic ("Kerry wants to take away our guns! Bush is for the war! No, I'm not enlisting.") But many thoughtful people (who we had been contacting because they were apparent undecideds or sporadic voters) seemed to have made up their minds that Bush has got to go.

One woman said it was all about money, and they changed the zoning so she couldn't keep her horse and a cow on her property because they want to put up a golf course right behind her.

One pair, dad and son, sat in the shade and seemed amused that we would even ask who they'd be voting for. "Isn't it obvious? Kerry, of course."

My favorite pair of women had just finished putting up a big tent-thing in the driveway, and had the radio up so loud (country-western) you could hear it from the main road. They were drinking a lot of cold beer and were "resting and rewarding", since they had a big Labor Day party planned.

"What we need is a woman as president," the older one said. She also thought I needed some beer too, and didn't want to let me go. She grabbed my clipboard and started looking through it. "Oh my God, Lily is a Bush-lover," she screamed. "I'll have to have a word with her at church tomorrow!"

Oh, Lord, I thought, wondering what damage I might have done. But they, too, couldn't imagine that anyone would vote for Bush. "Even all the Republicans at work aren't voting for him this year," the younger of the two said. "Not even my brother!" "What work?" the other commented, as I finally got my clipboard back and left.

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