I've been trying to work on a letter to the editor for a couple weeks now - mostly trying to corral my thoughts into 200 words or less. It's a challenge! In doing so, I've been thinking a lot about what it is that I have to say or do which is unique. There are plenty of things a person can do in this time leading up to the June 5th election. People can (and are) making phone calls, sending emails, writing letters to editors, blogging, knocking on doors... The first letter that I started writing sounds pretty similar to the letters I've been reading. And anyway, is there *really* anyone left who hasn't made up their mind who will decide based on my letter to the editor? Well, I am not discounting that possibility so, yes, I will slowly work away at my word count.
In the meantime, one thing occurred to me that I can contribute which is unique. Not everyone has a button machine!
So, here's the deal: we're having a sale on buttons. Buy one Barrett or Vote button and get a second button (protest, election, Barrett, recall) of your choosing (equal or lesser value). We're hoping this will spur a buy one, give one kind of movement, and perhaps give you an opportunity to have a conversation while you give a Barrett button to a friend.
We had a customer from Oregon who was trying to decide upon a button. She said, "I like this one, but I'm not a hipster and no one in Oregon will know what I'm talking about." Her friend said, "well, that's perfect. That's like the ultimate hipster thing!"
And yes, if there are any Republicans or undecideds who are actually still reading my blog, you will note that we didn't exclude you. You don't have to buy a Barrett button - there are many general election buttons to choose from.
The last time we had a sale on buttons was Labor Day weekend, in honor of the workers of the world. It seems appropriate to kick off this sale on Memorial Day weekend. In truth, if there is one overarching change that has come to my life over the past year, it is a stronger sense of patriotism, love and committment for my country and my state, or at least the ideals that we promise to uphold (you know, liberty and justice for all?). My committment to buying locally and from independent businesses traces back to this - as a way to support my fellow Americans as they pursue their American Dreams; my committment to recalling Walker traces back to this - as a way to overturn what I see as a complete denial of those ideals of democracy.
And so, here we are at Memorial Day weekend. The sale flyers abound, but what does that really have to do with the holiday itself? I feel even more keenly aware of all the sacrifices that the men and women of our armed forces have made. And what were all those sacrifices for if not to uphold the ideals of our nation?
Ok, you can have your cynical beliefs about why generals and politicans get us into wars, but I believe the dedication and heart of these sacrifices was not about money or political gain, but some abiding belief in this country, in the idea of freedom to speak, freedom to prosper, freedom to elect people who will stand for, by, and with the people who elected them. When I stand in line to vote, I feel the weight of this responsibility - elsewhere, people would KILL to have the opportunity that I have; elsewhere, people have DIED to bring this opportunity to others.
I DID tell you that I was getting more patriotic, didn't I?
So, after thanking our military veterans, and the families whose sons and daughters gave their lives, how about we all go out and do OUR duties to protect, and serve, and uphold our pledge that we make - standing united, with liberty and justice for all. AND VOTE.
*Sale runs from now (we'll start Memorial Day weekend early like some of you lucky ducks get to) (Friday May 25th) through election day (June 5th). Buy one $1.50 Barrett/Vote button, get a second of equal or lesser value for FREE!