“Knock knock. Hello? Who’s there?” This is going to take a minute to get used to. In fact, I should be used to it by now as I started door-to-door campaigning since mid June. However, every experience is not the same out in the community, when knocking doors. You see, door to door canvassing is not an easy task and in fact, it is not everyone’s favorite. Despite having to walk in various neighborhoods with distinct demographics you have to also become acclimated to the weather (rain or shine, hot or humid, etc.) – and constituents reactions. By constituents’ reactions, I mean that every person who you may knock on their doors are different in their own way. You may have a door that you knock on where a person is being respectful and very considerate to hear what you have to say and who you are representing. While on the other hand, you may have people that are so disgusted with politicians, the political system, and how things just are in society they don’t want to be bothered to vote or hear what you have to say. That’s just how it is.
I say this experience to say that as I have talked with various people who were open to having a conversation with me, I learned a great deal on why people do not feel sometimes motivated to vote. Among the most popular answers that I have received was “My vote wouldn’t count. I don’t like any of the candidates. The system is rigged.” These answers really made me wonder where people got this ideology from, or from what political event or personal circumstance resulted in this type of thinking. Being such the curious individual that I am, I sometimes would politely ask constituents who were willing to expound on their comments the question of why or how come they felt that way. Many of them couldn’t give me an answer at all, while some I could just tell made up an answer without much thought behind it. It seemed to me that people either believe or followed what other people may have told them about politics and government, and use it to shape their own ideologies. I knew this because some of the reasoning I received was not politically correct or even true. It is just a little shocking in these experiences, to see so many people that are truly socially unaware in all ages and walks of life. Of course, as a social sciences major who studies politics and societal relationships and interactions, you read about it all the time. However, having this experience allowed me to truly hear and see with my own eyes and ears how what I was reading is true about people, not fully being active citizens by voting or being involved with their legislators. I am hoping that things will change as we head to primaries, since we have another important election season in progress.