A week ago, I registered voters in Bethlehem, PA, as a Hillary volunteer (I am a known partisan). I came away more worried than ever about this election. I became even more worried when I read this from The Times’ Upshot: “Why the Whole Trump-Clinton Election Could Probably Just Be Held in Pennsylvania.” This is why I’m going to spend every weekend moment I can between now and Nov. 8 in Pennsylvania.
Bethlehem is no Allentown but it is a city that steel built and it has two major colleges. With a heritage of labor and academics, this town should be thick with my fellow travelers. But after spending an afternoon in front of the library registering voters, I saw well more than a few Republicans, some of whom said without hesitation, secrecy, or shame that they were voting for Trump. I saw some enthusiastic Clinton voters who also told me they were afraid to put Hillary bumper stickers on their cars (what does this say about the state of civility and political discourse in America?). I met some shrugging Hillary voters. And I met many people — including many young people — who said they weren’t voting. I left depressed.
With only 49 days until the most momentous election in my long lifetime, I’m concerned that the campaign is still all about Donald Trump: he’s all Trump talks about, of course, and he’s all Clinton is allowed to talk about because he’s all media talks about. He’s nucking futs and anyone who’s not futs knows that already.
What the campaign needs to do in the remaining days is (1) have Hillary talk about her plans and qualifications, (2) show us the real, human Hillary we never get to see, and — most important — (3) show us the enthusiastic Hillary supporters who are never heard from to give those voters who are afraid of showing off their bumper stickers cover.
On Sunday this week, I went to the opening of Clinton’s New Jersey campaign headquarters with Cory Booker. It was more than jammed with eager Clinton backers — 1,200 signed up and most of them were lined up on the street. I repeat: These are the voices we do not hear in media. These are the voices the campaign needs to showcase.