second article of an undetermined number on my experience working as a volunteer in the coalition for voting integrity booth at the county grange fair. My first article was: Grassroots Sweating for Democracy.... and Paper
Last night, I spent some more time at the local grange fair, advocating for state legislation requiring the right to use paper ballots.
Again, I've found that men between the age of 25 and 50 are the least likely to be interested, the most likely to have no interest.
I'm a realist. Most of the booths at the grange are aimed at either selling something (home improvements, candy, baked goods, jewelry, cars, power tools, etc.) or they're about agrarian stuff-- animal husbandry, tractors, farming, etc.
But guys over 50 and under 25 show interest. Women show interest, even parents and grandparents carrying babies.
I know from the polling I've done, through Zogby, that this age group of men is the most conservative, most likely to vote Republican. You'd think, that when they are approached by chubby bald guy wearing a fishing shirt, from a booth with mannequins of colonial patriots, and the talk is about their vote, that they'd be at least a tiny bit interested, and care.
But the response I've seen is painfully believable. I'd use the cliche, "un-believable," but my polling data predicts and Michael' Moore's book predict that these stupid white men will act this way... sort of.
When I look at them-- mostly blue collar, entirely Christian, I see people who are almost in a daze. Some defer to their wives, who DO express interest. Some, walking alone, tell me that their wives worry about this kind of stuff.
Is it a macho kind of thing. These kinds brusquely walk by, blowing me off, saying -- "not interested," or "I don't care," or "fine by me."
It's okay. I really have come to expect it from them. But when I encounter the other demographics-- younger men, women of any age, men with some grey hair, men who look more educated or with longer hair or beards, it's amazing what a difference there is. These people take the time to listen. They are often surprised to learn that they won't be voting on the lever machines they've used their whole lives, or they express disgust with the new electronic machines.
So many of them sincerely thank me for volunteering, for putting in the time. It is a stark contrast to these young turks who walk by, in hazes of ignorant arrogance, because there is a touch of arrogance to it, a flavor of, "get out of my face you pain in the ass." And I guess part of that is reasonable, since our world has become such an assault of marketing trash.
But the others walking by are able to discern the difference. Why can't these men? How have the US school system and the mainstream media and the US culture failed these fools who would surely respond to offers of free NASCAR, beer or Football gear?
What's your opinion?