Patrick was required for his AP American History class to work for five hours on someone's campaign. He had already worked at the polls on an anti-Obamacare measure that passed here in Missouri. But this time, he decided to work for a Democrat.
And why, you ask? Because he has a cool name. At least that's the official answer from Patrick.
It's just crazy. Mark Ellebracht's (and his opponent's) campaign people MUST have spent more than the job actually pays on fliers (plus postage!), yard signs, buttons and assorted rah-rah items. He said that he doesn't usually work with high schoolers, but Patrick seems pretty determined and so he'll take him 'round personally to make sure that he's ok. (I wasn't worried... but...ok.)
And sometimes, he warned me, people might use bad language. Am I still ok with him going? Yep.
"Great!" Patrick, he said, will be getting a button, campaign literature and a YARD SIGN. So it won't all be for nothing! (I thought the experience would be something enough... I'm telling you, this guy really is very polite and kind. But I just don't see where he could have gone to public school locally and still been concerned that my son would hear bad language during his foray into the neighbourhood... I mean, the guy looks about two years older than Patrick, so it couldn't have been that he went to school during the 1950's and has no clue that people don't say "shucky-darn" when they get upset on the bus.)
So Patrick went door-to-door with this fella and also worked the "phone bank." When he called to get his ride home, I DID NOT recognize his voice. When I answered, he said, "Hello. This is Patrick Lastname calling on behalf of the Mark Ellebracht..." I nearly hung up on him just out of habit.
I asked the kid about the yard sign later on.
"Oh," he responded. "He didn't give me one after I told him my views." Wait a minute... he has "views???" But of late, his "views" seem to be opposite mine when we're talking together. At school, he's conservative, or so I hear from parents of other children. I'm not quite sure I have this guy figured out yet.
For that matter, I haven't figured myself out yet. I can tell you how sorely I've been disappointed in the Republican leadership in their working for basic human rights for people like Elf when they attend school. (Hey, if he isn't a high-power executive with jobs that will trickle down, I guess he doesn't count.) But Democrats seem more concerned about the rights of the teachers and their collective bargaining powers than they are about the schoolchildren. Meh... what a tossup.