Saturday April 5th I attended my first political function of this election cycle. Although what we were doing was important, I have something even more important to write about. This article is about the young man who came with me.
I’ve been actively involved in politics for a few years now, but this is a first for me. This is the first time I’ve ever seen what it looks like, when somebody brand new gets their first taste of what it feels like, to actually go out into the community and try to make a difference.
Watching nervous anxiety literally transform into assertive motivation, over a period of just a couple hours, is inspiring.
Brian Hosmer 23 is a personal friend of mine. Although he has never been involved with politics, I easily recognized his personal values and ideals to be that of a conservative. He and I have talked politics on countless occasions, but to my knowledge he’s never even voted before. It’s also quite clear that the only reason he did decide to get involved is because I asked him to come with me.
Brian is a few years younger than I am. There was no way for me to know that he’d find the event to be anything other mind numbingly boring, but that wasn’t the case.
When Brian and I first arrived at GOP headquarters I could tell he was pretty nervous. He stayed pretty quiet and stuck to my side, but he paid attention. I already knew what was going so I was able spare him the deer in the headlights feeling of asking questions in front of the whole group, and by the time introduction part was over and we were headed out to take a group photo, I could see some of those nerves turning into excitement.
The very best part for me was when Brian and I headed out to go knock on some doors. I flat out told him, since he was still way more nervous than I was, I was gonna make him do the talking. The whole drive across town he kept trying to recite the little greeting we were told to use, and he didn’t get it out straight even once while we were in the car. Then when the first person actually answered the door, it came out perfect. He was cool, collected, articulate, and polite. After talking to just a couple more people, I could see his nerves were gone, and he had a mission.
When we were done for the day I asked him how it felt. Specifically I asked him to give me a before and after.
This is what he told me, and I quote “Before I didn’t know a lot, still don’t, but I also didn’t care, and after, I am more interested and actually now understand that I actually do have something to speak for, and something that is actually a part of my life style.”
Those are his exact words. I didn’t coach him, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he touched on one of the biggest problems we have with our political system right now. Too many voting age people, especially young people, really don’t know whats going on, and they don’t know that they can actually make a difference. More importantly, too many that don’t know, don’t even care enough to find out.
It’s up to those of us who are actively involved, to go out there and bring the others in. If talking to folks isn’t enough, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the friend card. That’s basically what I did. I wasn’t mean about it, I just told Brian that I could use his help. I told him there wasn’t any pressure. I just asked him to come to check it out, and I told him that he might like what we’re doing.
The few weeks before this event I talked to over a dozen acquaintances and friends. Brian was the only one I could persuade to even give it a look. I didn’t have my hopes up that he’d jump on board as he did, but it was well worth the effort. Being involved at all has it’s own rewards. Even though change is slow, and almost never works out exactly how we want it, getting out there and trying to be a part of the difference, feels a whole heck of a lot better than just sitting back and watching things get worse.
Now that I’ve had my first experience bringing in a new face, I can tell you from experience, every new face we bring in, makes our goals feel that much more achievable. If you have an opportunity, don’t pass it up.
Glenn W. Uncles Jr.