Mighty Texas Strike Force Hits the Ground Running in the Battlefield State of Ohio
Saturday night I flew into Cleveland, landing very late. I came as part of the Mighty Texas Strike Force (I just love that name!), to volunteer for the Romney/Ryan campaign by knocking on doors to get out the vote.
I was the lone passenger in the shuttle from the airport to the car rental place, and the driver, a woman likely in her mid 60’s, mentioned that Joe Biden had visited Ohio recently. Trying to figure where she was coming from politically, I asked if she heard him speak, and she just said no. A few minutes later she asked me why I was visiting. After I told her that I am here to knock on doors for Romney/Ryan, she was quiet for a few minutes, did a double check of the shuttle bus we both already knew was empty except for the two of us, and said she is voting Republican “this time”-and added that she cannot believe what our current President is doing to this country. She just cannot believe what is happening to America. She hopes and prays Romney can turn it around.
The campaign headquarters here was filled early morning with staffers and volunteers, Americans of every conceivable ethnic and racial background, a wide age span, and the unifying theme was love of freedom and America. Young 20-somethings had arrived on the scene from Washington DC, and other volunteers had traveled from states all over America.
Sunday, mid-day, I had a conversation with a cab driver in his mid-70’s, a gentleman who also asked why I am in Ohio, and when I told him, he told me he is frightened for America, that he cannot believe how many people don’t realize that Obama is a socialist at heart, or don’t realize how miserable socialism is. He’s a grandfather, and wants his children and grandchildren and their grandchildren to live in freedom not socialism, and said that he sees the Democrats as having just established a right among some to be taken care of by others. He spoke about the importance in America of entrepreneurs and of having people be successful as examples to others and to the younger generation. His grasp of the detrimental consequences of high taxes and multiplying regulations that crush business development and therefore job creation was equal to that of many scholars—he spoke of the virtue of the flat tax and the idea of everyone having a “buy-in” in our country’s budget and programs.
Knocking on doors (a Republican friendly list) was inspiring too. I have done a few precinct walks in my life, and often this close to an election, the average Joe Citizen is sick and tired of political door-knockers, phone calls, etc. But that was not true this time. At every home where a person answered the door, I was assured he or she either already had or would be voting for Romney. One young mom who answered her door said that they “can’t wait” to vote, and about twenty minutes later she drove by as I emerged from my car to start the door-knocking on a different street from hers, and slowed to ask me “people in this neighborhood get it, right—I mean they are supporting Romney aren’t they?” She said they are so frightened for America.
The picture on the ground is that plenty of Americans, not just the political junkies or the campaign workers, see how big and how important this election is. These conversations gave me hope that individuals all over America are more awake than ever before, and regardless of what they tell their friends and the pollsters, they are ready to take this country back.