Working for Change

by aengelson | September 6th, 2012

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written, but I thought I’d dust off the blog again and talk a little bit about the election in the US.

Please take a moment to support the campaign.

Back in 2007, while I was on a climbing trip on Mount Rainier, my friend and I were discussing the campaign and he asked me who I supported. I said Barack Obama, but I doubted whether he could win the election. As the campaign progressed, I realized that this was the first candidate I’d ever felt so strongly about–and if I wanted him to win, it was up to me to do what I could to help. Since Washington state was likely to support Obama, I traveled to Philadelphia during the primaries, and to Ohio in the general election.

You can read an account of my trip to Ohio here. I really urge you to read it. It was a life-changing experience. I enjoyed the chance to go door-to-door, talking to everyday people about the issues. I worked with an incredible group of volunteers from across the country. And I got to see first-hand some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by a struggling economy.

Now, four years later, the situation is far from perfect, but the course has been steady and I think the choice is clear. We can go back to the days of George W. Bush, or we can move forward with a moderate policy that balances giving a helping hand up to those struggling while also helping businesses innovate and grow. Some Democrats have been disappointed in the last four years. But I think  Obama’s approach is patient one, with a  long term vision. We now have moderate health care plan that covers everyone, guarantees that getting sick won’t make you bankrupt, and allows private insurance companies to provide that coverage. Obama’s decisions helped avert another Great Depression, helped rescue the US auto industry, ended the war in Iraq, ended the ban on gays in the military, kept Americans safe from terrorist attacks, and helped make it easier to get student loans.

There’s a lot more to be done, and sure, there have been disappointments. But I’m proud to have worked for Obama’s campaign in 2008 and will work to support it in 2012. Now that I live here in Hanoi, I can’t exactly canvas door-to-tor,  so I want to ask those friends back in the US to help me out. Getting involved in a campaign gives you a sense of ownership, of participation. The night of the election in 2008, when the state of Ohio lit up blue on the map–I felt a deep satisfaction knowing I’d been a little part of that victory. So, here’s what I’d like to ask:

If you’re a US citizen, take a moment and donate to the Obama campaign. Big corporate donors are flooding money into the Republican campaign this year, hoping that TV ads will trump door-to-door politics.

If you’re a US citizen living in perfect dating sites Vietnam, check out Democrats Abroad for info on voting overseas or participating in the campaign.

And volunteer. You can phone bank (even from home) and help turn out the vote. You can register voters. Or you can go door-to-door, which I highly recommend. This is especially crucial for those of you who live in closely contested places like Ohio or Pennsylvania or Florida. If you live in Washington state, consider traveling to a place like Ohio to volunteer. You won’t regret it.

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2 Responses to “Working for Change”

  1. Hi Andy, Joe and I are pound ing the streets for Obama. Two different neighborhoods so far. I don’t know whether you can feel the anxiety that is occurring in this country but it’s intense, worrisome and downright scary. The obscene amounts of $$ being spent is very disturbing to many of us. Love you and miss you, Sally

  2. Hey Sally,
    Good for you guys! I hope it’s a positive experience for you. I found it fascinating meeting people, talking to them, hearing their concerns. Colorado’s going to be a close one, so everyone you talk to helps! Thank you.

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About This Site

Hi, I'm Andy Engelson, a writer and editor who lived in lesbian porn Hanoi for five years and now lives in Geneva Switzerland. This blog is no longer active, but you can find more of my writing at The Lost Salt Atlas. I'm currently working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. In a former life, I edited Washington Trails magazine. I like to hike, travel, and play with my family.


I am afraid of those who will look for tendenciousness between the lines and who are determined to see me either as a liberal or a conservative. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, neither a gradualist nor a monk nor an indifferentist. I would like to be nothing more than a free artist, and I regret that God did not give me the gift to be one. I hate falseness and coercion in all their forms. . . Pharisaism, stupidity and arbitrariness reign not merely in merchants’ houses and police stations: I see them in science, in literature, among the young. That is why I have no particular passion for either policemen or butchers or scientists or writers or the young. I consider brand-names and labels a prejudice. My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and absolute freedom, freedom from force and falseness in whatever form they express themselves. That’s the platform I’d subscribe to if I were a great artist. — Anton Chekhov, “Letter to Alexi Pleshcheev”


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