I’m a 33-year-old New Hampshire Independent, who over the last two years or so, found myself becoming slightly obsessed with the New Hampshire primaries and then the general election. Before this election I had never participated in politics in any way. Political issues have often been of interest, but I never cared much for party politics. I’m a history and art major that now does computer work, and I became a blogger through this process. I don’t commit to a candidate until the day of the election. That is until this year.
This all started simply by attending a number of town hall meetings. Then Senator McCain won my vote, after that his campaign convinced me to volunteer, and then I was hooked. I volunteered more and more in New Hampshire, then I went to South Carolina to volunteer, next I hustled my way into the Republican National Convention as a blogger. During the primaries I switched from web site owner to blogger in hopes of helping the McCain cause, and have been blogging for about a year and a half now. Finally, I volunteered again in New Hampshire for the general election.
That’s a lot for an Independent. The big lesson for me in this experience was to participate. In typical Independent fashion, my instinct was to pay attention, but steer clear of all the political back and forth. Yet participation was not the only lesson learned from this experience. I have a deeper understanding of the process, the good and the bad, and while my political beliefs have changed very little, I have a new appreciation for those who participate at all levels and on both sides of the aisle. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees on issues, most of the people involved in politics are trying to make a difference for the better.
It also was an experience that presented a personal challenge. Politics runs counter to my personality in a variety of ways. I’m not an ideologue. If someone disagrees with me on an issue it doesn’t bother me in the least, in fact I often welcome it. I’m Independent, not only politically, but also in personality. I’m mild mannered, and have never followed a celebrity, politician, or anyone in the public spotlight, so my persistent tracking of Senator McCain and his campaign during this election prompted the frequent assessment that, ‘This must be a sign that I’m nuts.’
However, personality-wise, what might be the most striking contrast is that nearly everyone in politics seems to be an outgoing, often gregarious, talker. From top to bottom almost all are socially gifted, often charismatic, and frequently delightful people. I am not; social skills have never been my forte. I’m not as painfully shy as I used to be, but I’m just not naturally social. Yet I leapt (or fell) into the world of the most social. Consequently, the most immediate impact this experience had on me was that it shoved me forward socially and reduced my nervousness in social situations…
An Indpendent Call by Katherine J. Morrison available at Amazon.
Prior Entry An Independent Call – Foreword & Notes