Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stories from the (Phone) Line: Cindy

My previous Story from the Phone Line was about Patty, a first time volunteer motivated by the SCOAMF (my words, not hers) to get off the sidelines and into the game.

This one focuses on a long-time operative.

Cmdr Cindy Stellar (USN- Ret) instructs Texas Rep. Bill Zedler on how to use the phone system.

Commander Cindy Stellar (USN-Ret) is the 1st Vice President of Programs for the Metroplex Republican Women.  She retired from the Navy Nurses Corps in 1995 and became active in politics shortly thereafter.  Her first major campaign was as part of GWH Bush's campaign in 1999 and 2000.  She and her husband were both Team Leaders in the Tennessee county where they lived.  That county was a heavy Democrat county which the Republicans won, when the dust settled, by 47 votes that year.

Where Patty gave me a good sense of what others like me were feeling, Mrs. Stellar (who was, by the way) had an almost grim determination.  Now don't take that the wrong way.  She was as up-beat and optimistic as anyone I've met who wasn't crazy.  I could tell she was jazzed about being there, about the volunteers being there, and about the opportunity to oust the SCOAMF (again- my word, not hers) from office.  Under all of that, though, was a determination to win this thing that I'd never experienced in person before.  Where my anger against the Traitor in Chief burns hot, she had managed to turn that into a steely resolve that I may never match.

I asked her exactly how important she believes phone banks and canvasing are.  "Very important," she replied.  She emphasized that what we were doing was not "just" get out the vote, but vital election day intelligence gathering.  By eliminating those who had already voted, weren't going to vote, or whose numbers were no longer in service, we were freeing up other resources which would become available later.  Now those people don't have to be called again.  Additionally, both over the phone and in person, she spoke of the connection that is made by real, human contact.  Every person who heard us on the phone realized they were talking to a human being instead of a recording.  Everyone who sees a canvasser walking the streets knows that's a real human person.  That helps build connections and relationships- making it more likely that people will vote the "right" way.  And, of course, there was the actual GOTV effect as well.

It is said that in a turn-out election, GOTV is supreme.  Well, they're all turn-out elections.

She further said she believed that it was of vital importance that Republicans were counteracting the vaunted "Obama Machine" from 2008.  By using the centralized database, the intelligence data gathered could more quickly be returned to the field as useful information.  With Conservatives on social media, she believes we have taken away one of Obama's primary advantages.

She spoke of a "silent wave" she believes is sweeping the nation.  She pointed out that, in the Bush win of 2000, none of the media expected the Evangelical vote- because they'd been wilfully blind to it.  She believes the same is true today; the People of America want Obama out, and she believes the media will be shocked, and left scratching their heads asking "well where did THAT come from?"

Finally, I asked her what one thing she would want people to know- both about this election, though few will see these words in time for them to be of use- but also for future elections.  She had three words. 

"Your vote counts."

She then said something that I and others have said, with perhaps less "moral authority."  People have bled and died to give you the right to vote.  People fought and died to give you that right, and not to be informed and exercise it is "lazy and self-serving."  "I lived in Europe for 4 years," she said, "I know what Socialism is."

With Cmdr. Stellar and those like her, I know we have the experienced, grass-roots leaders who can propel us to victory.  Hopefully those of my generation can learn the lessons hers can teach us.

NOTE: I owe Mrs. Stellar an apology.  I had originally thought, and told her, that this piece would appear on the Arlington Voice, and that the piece I've posted there (which will probably become available tomorrow or the next day) would appear here.  I decided I did not want to wait for the inevitable (and even necessary) delays of posting a piece there.

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