By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW (Social Justice Solutions Staff Writer)
It’s Day Seven without power here in Huntington, Long Island New York after Hurricane Sandy, but I am taking up residence at the moment near an outlet on a stair case in the public library. Luckily over the weekend I had the liberty of escaping the current state of darkness, cold nights, and shortages of gasoline to make my way up to New Hampshire for the weekend. Being a life long resent of New York, and visiting friends from New York , this visit the weekend before Election Day was not without an obvious air of politics. The sidewalks, mailboxes, door knobs, residences, televisions, businesses and phone lines were all a buzz with political paraphernalia. Canvasers combed the streets placing signs, knocking on doors, leaving leaflets and door hangers and much more. Every corner was colored with political sign after political sign, to the point where sides of a single street seemed to be competing with one another to see who ‘cared’ most about their competing political parties. Every other commercial was a political advertisement, with the Republican running against the women’s add being entirely cast of ‘women voters’.
Never having experienced such a political buzz I found it fascinating, and found it even more interesting that for them it was a way of life. While surrounded by these political signs and symbols, politics wasn’t a major focus of the locals conversation or day. It just was the environment they lived in, and had to put up with until November 6th. What was most intriguing was that New Hampshireites has come to focus on the word ‘Radical’ for this election. Every radio or television add painted the other candidate as a radical in one way or another. Some claimed they radically spent tax-payer money, while others said the other candidate made decisions that were too radical to secure constituents rights. Whether it was overly stated or a subtle message, it seems that everyone wants to paint the other candidate as a radical and secure themselves as the safest candidate to vote for. In a time where many of us have to play it safe in so many ways this certainly will play on the fears of many voters, and while confusing is indeed a good advertisement strategy.
It would be interesting if all states were as important and as active in an election as swing states such as New Hampshire. I feel it might increase our voting rates and records, and press people to become more involved in politics. Wouldn’t that be nice? In states such a NY I hear some folks state things such as “Why vote, the electoral votes for NY have already been allocated so why bother?” and that is just a pity.
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