"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Shoe leather politics---look out world

The doorbell rang  again, interrupting my writing. 
At the door was a tall, slender young woman, with a clipboard, a smile, and a Bernie Sanders button. My grumbling faded.
She, Madison Rubino,  is a Spanish language education major at the University of Central Oklahoma, a student of one of my colleagues.
I learn that she's one of perhaps 30 people out canvassing Edmond, trying to get a feel for who might be casting votes for him in the Democratic primary. 
"Are you feeling the Bern?" she pleasantly asks,
She's soft spoken, not pushy, and I'm frank about my doubts, but tell her I know people who are voting for Bernie, and not to be discouraged if I'm cynical. I thank her for what she's doing. 
Yes, she's up-to-date on socialism, labels and the odds, but still quietly optimistic. I also learn that she's a member of the Bernie Sanders club, "Bronchos for Bernie," on campus, putting up that booth in the Nigh Center every week--it's the only club on campus specifically supporting one candidate.
I learn from Susan that step-daughter Alexx Harms, and probably others I know, are spending this Saturday canvassing parts of Oklahoma City.
Volunteers. Young people excited about a candidate. Spending shoe leather, not just words. I haven't seen anything like this since Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy 50 years ago.
Instead of  the anger and insults  and hate and fear from organized supporters of  other candidates this year, there's optimism, dedication, hope. 
Young Americans. That's how elections are won. Shoe leather. Bernie has become a "movement," not a candidate. Beware establishment, as Hillary has already learned.
Us old farts have griped for years about our "apathetic" youth, talking about "when I was their age, we were out there..." etc.  Well, these folks ain't apathetic. 
I don't care if you agree with Sanders' politics or not. If he helps involve our young people, it gives me hope. Thanks,  Miss Rubino.

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