In 2016, concerned my natural organizational confusion would muck things up, I was loathe to do volunteer work for Hillary Clinton, even as I exhorted people to the point of shame for not doing the same. But I think I’ve demonstrated 10,000 times over the course of my 38 years that linguistic fortitude is my supremacy, dear reader, and to those who know me as anything other than a writer, I’ve demonstrated an exponent over ten thousand more that organizational efficacy is my death.
But committed soldier that I am to the American Experiment, on November 7 2016, T-minus one day, I packed myself into my car along with my customary too many snacks for the road, and drove up as part of a relatively large convoy to somewhere in Chester County or Norris County or Bucks County wherever it was around Philadelphia to knock on the doors of a couple dozen upper-middle class Italian-American swing voters in an effort to forestall the Fall of the Republic. After two hours of following more seasoned hands doing the barge-toting labor of making sure affluent suburbanites were fully aware of the stakes at hand (hint: they already were… or at least the ones were who came to the door…), the volunteer coordinator assured us we henceforth were fully trained foot-soldiers in the Army of Democracy: foot solders and much more. We each were allocated clipboards for our own responsibility, and subsequently allotted whole blocks, streets, even suburban thoroughfares, which were officially sanctioned to be our divisions upon which we were absolute battalion commanders.
Within fifteen minutes of getting that clipboard, adored reader; within thirty seconds of knocking on my first house, I’d locked myself out of my car with the clipboard still inside. My phone, withal, was all but completely out of battery, and had only enough juice to call headquarters, whereon I could but sheepishly ask them to call Triple-A, for had I to wait on hold, battery would be lost, and would I thereupon spend my remaining half-century in a cardboard shanty as a well-lettered vagrant in an unfortunate suburban Philadelphia front yard. The campaign coordinators could not, or at least they would not, call Triple-A at my behest. I surmise this was because suburban Triple-A employees are in the main not Clinton lovers, and could ostensibly wreak some havoc on this most sensitive day of American history if they knew where some Clinton volunteer coordinations were based out of (and lest that seem paranoid, beloved reader, once that day already in Baltimore, a Trump supporter tried to get a bunch of our cars towed and used his pickup truck to block us in in an attempt to disable our convoy); so they rather sent out other volunteers to find me, volunteers who by all rights should be knocking on the doors of “Dr. and Mrs. Russo/White/Age 49-65/Some Graduate School/she’s a D he’s an I/hasn’t given money since 1996/believes in greater political civility but hates political correctness/believes in women’s rights but opposes abortion/believes in more robust social programs but thinks their taxes are too high.’ But as I was explaining my nebulous conception of my current location to the volunteers attempting to locate me, my phone battery, not unexpectedly, ran its course. Forty-five minutes later, two cars of campaign volunteers detected me and only then could I make the Triple-A call. But naturally, Triple-A doesn’t think much of showing up if I don’t have my information on me, and as might be expected, the information is in the car. In consequence, for well over an hour after the call is placed, I simply have to wait there, and because Triple-A might need to call me on the phone, a number of the volunteers have to wait with me rather than do the work they’d driven to Pennsylvania to do.
The moral of this story, darling reader, is that because I decided to volunteer and do as required exactly as other people do, Donald Trump was elected President. For the rest of my life, my failure to knock on those doors is a demerit upon my conscience. The fact that Donald Trump is our President is solely my fault, cherished reader, and mine alone. And all the consequent portentous events are exclusively due to my incompetence. One day, when Hashem renders judgement upon my life, the Heavenly tribunal will tell me what I have known all along – that my incompetence is the reason for everything bad that ever happened to not only me, but that has ever happened to you, and to everyone you’ve ever known, and every future person yet born, and every event which happened before I was born.
In this Land of Coronavirus, I do not wish to look upon my hands and see yet more subsequent pools of blood upon them. Ergo, I believe the best job for which I can volunteer is to absent myself entirely from its relief efforts. In the ongoing, valiant, and still only progenitive efforts to rescue America’s lives and welfare and entities and ecosystems and safety and interests and prosperity, no one should be cursed, dear reader, with relying on the abilities of the man whose ineptitude is the sole cause of Donald Trump’s election.
All around us in this useless era, people are being useful, but of what use is the guy who’s useless? We all have to think very hard in this era of confusion and privation how we can be of the most help. And how can I, precious reader, be of most help to you?