We have written several times about the presidential race–such as it is–in Minnesota. Neither party has done much of anything here, yet the polls are surprisingly close. Our consensus has been that, tantalizing though the thought may be, it is not realistic to think that Minnesota could be in play.
So I was surprised to receive an email from Maya Angelou, a little while ago, urging me to be sure to vote:
From: Maya Angelou
Subject: Pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich
Date: October 24, 2012 5:02:14 PM CDT
To: John Hinderaker
Minnesota and a handful of other states are going to decide this election. Every vote counts, and you probably have friends and family who need a friendly reminder. Use our Facebook app to ask your friends in Minnesota and other battleground states to commit to vote today.
And please read Dr. Angelou’s note below and forward it far and wide. Inspire everyone you know to vote.
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country — as an American.
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful — don’t underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
Your vote might make the difference. Don’t fool around with this — get the information you need to vote in this election.
As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.
My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” When they couldn’t answer, they couldn’t vote.
I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time — I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.
I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.
And since President Barack Obama’s historic election, we’ve moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.
Yet as Rev. King wrote, “All progress is precarious.”
So don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t hesitate. Don’t have any regrets. Vote.
Go, rise up, and find out what you need to do to vote and ask your friends to join you. We must make our voices heard:
Your vote is not only important. It’s imperative.
Dr. Maya Angelou
P.S. — Not on Facebook? Send your friends to vote.barackobama.com — don’t let technology get in the way of your incredible duty to our democracy.
So, do the Democrats really believe that Minnesota is one of a “handful of states” that will decide the election? Or is this just boilerplate that the Dems are sending to their faithful in every state where they aren’t actually campaigning? I’m guessing the latter, but would be interested to hear from our readers as to whether they are seeing similar efforts in states not normally considered to be in play. For what it’s worth, the idea that the Democrats could be worried about Minnesota–if true–would be one more data point in what is shaping up as a very good year for Republicans.