THE RING STILL FITS WITH A LITTLE LESS SHINE,By Louise Annarino,August 6, 2012

6 Aug

THE RING STILL FITS WITH A LITTLE LESS SHINE, By Louise Annarino, August 6,2012

 

The anniversary party differs from the wedding reception,but is no less filled with love. Oh, no rice is thrown,and no shoes nor tin cans are tied to the car bumper. But, the steady appreciation of guests for the shared commitment and sacrifice they have watched unfold since the wedding day several years ago is even more pronounced and certain. To be sure, there have been disagreements, arguments and bewilderment over the years. The wedding ring may be a bit tarnished. This has only awakened a more mature appreciation for the relationship and its ability to weather the storms of human nature and ego. No one expects to see the same innocent fervor on the faces of those who shared and witnessed vows 4 years before. It is enough that the parties still try to do their best, and stay committed to one another. We understand this. We family and friends share the responsibility with newlyweds to support their efforts; on their wedding day and every day after.

 

We have a similar relationship with political candidates with whom we affiliate. We stand as witnesses to their platform to serve our fellow citizens, and we support them, on inauguration day and every day after.This is why the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign looks different than the 2008 campaign. This is why the question, “Where is the enthusiasm we saw in 2008?” is a ridiculous one. It is the wrong question because it is fails to understand what grassroots community support is and how it operates.

 

In Columbus,Ohio, as in other states, those who worked so hard to elect Obama-Biden pressured Congress to pass The Lily Ledbetter Act allowing women to push for equal wages and moved right into a campaign in support of health care reform resulting in The Affordable Care Act. They collected signatures, lobbied Congress, attended fairs and rallies where they spoke out and educated fellow citizens, held a candlelight vigil, wrote letters to the editor and their representatives. As they worked on these campaigns they resisted the attack on pubic employee unions by Governor Kasich and Republicans in the State Legislature,collecting 1.3 million signatures (they needed only 231,000) to place a referendum on the 2011ballot where it was soundly defeated. The Columbus Dispatch reported [  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/06/29/sb-5-referendum-coalition-to-deliver-more-than-a-million-signatures.html] a parade of more than 6,000 marched up Broad Street to Fourth Street, “where a 48 ft. semi-truck carrying the 1,298,301 signatures in 1,502 boxes collected was unloaded. The parade also included retired fire trucks, a drum line, bagpipes and loud motorcycles. It took about 15 minutes to pass.” Does this sound like a lack of enthusiasm?

 

With no time to rest local Obama supporters joined with others to start another signature-gathering campaign to supplant the gerrymandering redistricting plan passed by Ohio Republicans. They have collected 750,000 signatures to place a constitutional amendment creating a 12 member citizen commission not favoring any party on the November 2012 ballot. Simultaneously, they have fought off efforts to defund Planned parenthood, assure women’s reproductive health care freedoms, and continue to oppose voter suppression with some success. These have been massive efforts, by thousands of grass root volunteers, taking on very powerful interest groups. This has not been easy. It certainly makes one wonder how anyone could question the enthusiasm of grassroot volunteers, the same volunteers who worked on Obama-Biden 2008 election. They continue to man phone banks, canvass door-to-door, place yard signs, educate and recruit others at fairs and festivals, write letter-to-the-editor, and blog in support of the president and vice-president.

 

Dealing with the racism and bigotry has made the effort of these volunteers difficult and disheartening at times. Yet, they continue with renewed determination that such hatred will not be rewarded. They seek nothing short of absolute victory, on achy legs, with sore hearts and open minds, and the determination for a fair election which they know will result in the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama. They may look a bit more worn, sound a bit more tired, and have a few more scars; but, they are still enthusiastic where it counts…in their hearts.

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