Cheating Range

Salisbury Viaduct

My dad took care of this bridge like a grown-up. I think of him when it comes time for precinct meetings.

Here’s how democracy works: people vote in places called precincts that usually contain a couple thousand voters. TC and I vote in Precinct 601 in Forsyth County, with 2,212, including 1,028 Democrats 860 unaffiliated and a sprinkling of Republicans. The precinct starts over at the Moravian cemetery called God’s Acre. In Chicago some of them might vote, but only living people get to do so here. The precinct actually starts with Salem College (the oldest womens’ college in the colonies), then heads west through a lot of condos, a couple cool coffee shops and restaurants. Then uphill through Piedmont International University  and another “public house” serving yet more coffee. The precinct casts votes at the Christ Moravian Church at the top of the hill there. The precinct continues through a few hundred fairly dumpy houses scattered down the hill before ending at Peters Creek Parkway. You can walk from one end of the precinct to the other in 25 minutes which between now and November we will do several times.

In most elections about half the people vote. No Democrat has to try to convince any of the 294 Republicans to change their mind. It might just annoy them enough that they will forget how embarrassed they are these days and vote. We need those among our 1,028 people who are not inclined to vote to show up. If 10% of them vote in all the precincts like our little 601, then Mr Trump and his thieves go back to stealing from their hotel guests and gullible golfers instead of my grandchildren.

We already beat this guy by three million voters with a candidate less likable than anyone still alive in the democratic field. We just needed another 70,000 voters in precincts in the three states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. On the day it mattered, they did other errands and didn’t show up.

Bad on them, of course.

But bad on their precinct workers!

Mr Trump is like a balloon held aloft with the anger of this agitated followers who he keeps frothing by at least one outrage every news cycle. Many of them are Christians who should know better. Bad on them. But his empty balloon is also filled with our anger at him. We should know better, too. Bad on us.

Anger is not like voting. Neither is “liking” Facebook posts or retweeting about his stupid stuff. Voting happens at the precinct level. Boring as hell; about as fun as your average church committee. This is the kind of mundane thing that grown-ups do when we think the future of the species is at risk.

We have all heard about rigged elections and meddling by all sorts of folks; another distraction.  We just have to get this out of cheating range. It turned out that in 2016 we needed slightly more than the 2.09% Hillary won by. So maybe we need to win by 6% (about 9 million votes). That’s not even hard. We just need to show up and get our neighbors to do so, too.

The annual meeting of precinct 601 is this Saturday at 10am at the Moravian Church at the top of the hill. It will probably be 6 or 10 of us and a few candidates anxious to meet some actual voters who might vote. We’ll elect a new chair and talk someone into being the treasurer to whom we’ll write some checks. Then we’ll talk about how to organize rides to the polls and such.

It’s not likely to get all the way to fun. But it does feel good. Come on Saturday.

charlie and Asa through the window

Charles and Asa: why I show up at the precinct.

And don’t forget to tell your kids why you did it.

If you live in another precinct, or state, google it and find your meeting. It will be just as quirky and uncool. (Here’s the link to Forsyth County Democrats: https://www.fcdpnc.org/annual-precinct-meetings.html

 

About garygunderson

Vice President, Faith Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders and Religion and the Heath of the Public. Secretary, Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group).
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1 Response to Cheating Range

  1. crdykers says:

    Ok. Even though I expect our democracy to die shortly, I’ll leave my house and go up the hill to Christ Moravian Church on Saturday.

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