Let's Get a Serious

My name is Megan and I am a volunteer with the Missouri Democratic Party.

I said that sentence so many times last Sunday, as I canvassed. I knocked on 47 doors to support what I believe in, and I’ll knock on more and more every weekend until November, handing out brochures and gathering important data for statistical analysis.

Missouri Democrat Candidate Stickers

I’m excited about this. Canvasing mixes a bunch of my favorite “just for Megan” things: social issues, politics, research, statistics, and talking. And hey, added exercise.

I’ve talked about this before, but I was a huge activist in college. I led several campus student organizations, organized events, and interned for activist nonprofit groups. Jake was always helping in the background, being the photographer or videographer, and now he’s the “in charge of the little people” person while I’m off canvasing.

Politics is a big part of who I am: I believe that informed citizens who participate in democracy are necessary for a successful democracy. Trends of sensationalist politics (though historically that’s nothing new) and apathy really bother me. If I hadn’t decided to go the family route, chances are I’d be studying constitutional law right now.

Project Life 2012 | Week 31

So why was I tempted to blur out the canvasing photos in my Week 31 Project Life spread?

Because I saw tons of evil, hurtful, and inappropriate comments on blogs I love in 2008. When other bloggers, like Ali Edwards, whose husband at the time was a state senator, and Rachel Denbow posted pictures of their post-election celebrations, they ended up having to disable comments on the posts because people were being so mean. I’m sure this happened in other places as well.

Jake and I talked about not sharing anything about politics, but we don’t want to have to be afraid of those comments. This is a lifestyle blog: politics is part of our lifestyle. You might see bits of politics pops up in pictures and memory keeping around here. You might be very strongly opposed to our beliefs. That’s okay.

To our US readers: We don’t really care who you vote for. We just want you to vote. Better yet, we want you to research and make an informed vote. Even better, we want you to volunteer for a candidate you really believe in.

And we want you to really think about what you say to other people, in real life and online, as the election draws nearer. Try to be respectful. Emotions will run high, especially because major issues in elections purposefully have an emotional charge (even though they’re usually not the issues that actually have the biggest impact on society). Fight through that. Try to think about things logically. Being mean to someone isn’t going to change their mind: if you really care about an issue, try to engage in friendly debate. Try to focus on facts. Try to listen to the other person’s facts. Try to reevaluate what you think is right based on all the information you gather from both sides.

But most of all, try to be respectful.

Are you into politics? Do you feel like your political beliefs are something you need to hide?

Let’s Get Serious is a blog series where we share our opinions and put ourselves out there. We get that not everyone thinks the same way; the same things don’t work for everyone. These are our opinions. They don’t have to be your opinions. We’d like to hear about what you think, but please don’t be mean to us. Let’s respect each other and talk about it!

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