Thursday, November 6, 2008

Unsung canvassers of Obama: Dan Kopman

One of the truly encouraging thing about the election of Barack Obama - speaking in purely practical terms, as the citizen of a troubled nation - is that so many people feel they had a steak in his campaign and his victory and therefore in his nascent administration. We have here the phenomenon of Americans getting passionate about the United States of America.

I have long been a student of revolutionary literature. I have had a taste of that shared spirit of positive struggle in the Ogoni movement and in raising funds for the Zapatistas. To all the black folks swearing they never thought they would vote an African American into The White House, you can add a lot of white American progressives, like me, who never thought they would feel the spirit of revolution within their own country.

On the afternoon of Election Day, I met a friend from out of town at The Bottleworks. I sipped a beer as we caught up. Schlafly coowner Dan Kopman appeared at the end of the bar while we were talking. After my friend left (to do a Young Audiences gig), I moved down the bar and talkd to Kopman. Since I was a nervous wreck about the election, I sketched him. He was talking about how Obama had motivated him to canvas for the first time since 1972, when he was 11.

Kopman also admitted he was sorely tempted to harangue his several employees who were voting for Ralph Nader. Yes, Missouri stretches toward Arkansas and Tennessee, whereas Ohio stretches toward the Great Lakes and Indiana toward mighty Chicago, BUT the nearly 18,000 votes that went to Nader in Missouri would have been enough to win Missouri for Obama nearly three times over.

So, if you're blue about living in a red state at the dawn of the Obama revolution, thank someone who voted for Nader. They helped McCain and Palin to win this state.

No comments: