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Please, Just Give Me A Chance


Freedom Fest on the 4th.

The best kind of listening session.

Here’s where you learn things that consultants don’t know. Here’s a real focus group.


Freedom Fest was largely made up of people who would never think to attend a political event. But these are patriots. Real proud Americans.


Stars and Stripes were splashed on every article of clothing, old glory on tattoos, eagles everywhere, statues of liberty, Uncle Sam baby sunglasses.


Yet several people told me they don’t vote. And when I asked, they told me many things.

“I’m not old enough to vote, and my Mom’s in jail so....”

“Well, thanks for the talk, I’m off to work. Night shift. We don’t get the fourth off, good luck to ya”

“I appreciate it, but it don’t make a difference... they’re all crooked.”

“I registered as a democrat, long time ago... I voted for Trump... but I don’t know, he doesn’t seem all that good anymore.”

“I just don’t watch. Can’t watch and listen to all the news. Makes me crazy, and plus the kids”


A lot of people have lost a lot of hope. They don’t think voting matters. They don’t equate voting with patriotism. They wish they could, but they just don’t think it matters.


I said something to people there that day that I haven’t yet said during this campaign:

“Please, just give me a chance.”

I didn’t plan on using that phrase. Sounds kind of desperate. But desperation was in the air. Desperation mixed with a general sense of submission.


Don’t get me wrong, there were smiles and laughter as well. There was fried food and beer and ice cream, parents smiling at their face painted children.


But for these good people; working hard, waiting all year for the fourth, seeing the next work day looming, feeling the weight of their bills and their healthcare, and their childcare, fearing for the future of their farm and their kids, living in this American system where both parties have a frustrating air of elitism....

....the last person they would look to for assistance or inspiration is a politician. Because it’s the politicians and the politician’s friends, who are rigging the system against them. They can sense it.


I could feel there frustration, so all I could say is:

“Please, just give me a chance.”


Each interaction I have makes me want to speak for and stand up for the people, even people I might not agree with politically.

If I can use what I’ve learned, if I can earn their trust, if I can help show what’s really being done in our name... It could spread.

More honesty, more authenticity, more direct answers to questions. More solutions, more ideas.

More representatives who actually ARE the people.


I see the hope there, but I need your help.

We’ve all been inundated with requests for money. Fundraising deadlines, phone banking, donor lists, candidate viability... on and on.


Today we just need you to spread the word.

Be a daily volunteer with your voice and your networks of friends and family. Ask them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Ask them to give us a chance. Insist on voting. Keep reminding. Keep inspiring.


Real representation can change people’s lives, it can change the direction of this land.

This summer is starting to raise the horizon of November far off in the distance. I can’t yet tell if it’s dark or light. There are no guarantees. If we don’t spread the urgency, if we don’t work, things will get much worse for all of us.


This is our life, this is our moment. This is our state, this is our country. We have to push back. We the people.


You can do it. Your voice, your ear and your energy; those are the most important donations.


Our friends and neighbors are waiting for us.


FORWARD

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© 2018  John Calabrese for Wisconsin. Carol Nies, Treasurer