A Junior’s experience campaigning

The Detroit campaign for Hillary Clinton.

Photo by Liam Walsh '18

The Detroit campaign for Hillary Clinton.

Liam Walsh '18, Page Editor

There is a certain disappointment that comes with losing on something you’ve worked so hard on. Spending hours working towards a surefire goal, and then having it completely lost.

It’s a disappointment of regret and hopelessness. I am never going to get the time back I worked on the Hillary Campaign. I can’t go back and change what I did to reach out to more voters. But that does not mean I am not proud of what we did at the campaign office. I am proud to say I had the privilege to meet some of the people who worked at the office. I am proud of the experience gained, and to now know what the word defeat truly means.

I was a Fall Organizing Fellow with the campaign. What I did was organize events in the Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods area. I called people, knocked on doors, trained people to call people and knock on doors. I was the Swiss Army Knife in the office. If my boss needed something done, I would get it done no matter what the scale was. I once returned bottles for change so we could have parking meter money when the cops started to crack down on that.

It really opened my eyes to the outside world. I met a diverse group of people that expanded my horizons on who people were. I go to Grosse Pointe South, probably one of the whitest schools in the area, and to interact with so many different people from so many different backgrounds truly helped solidify the belief that all people are inherently good. It was a place that was warm and accepting, always striving to find a new way to open doors for people to help.

I do not have the grace to say that I went through the campaign without and battle scars. I once had a guy give me a 15 minute lecture on why the US needs to go back to the gold standard. I also had someone call me and use every swear word and then some against Secretary Clinton. To be fair, I could have hung up on either of these people easily, but it was interesting and at times comical to see the strong emotion out of people.

I learned what true grit and work ethic are on the campaign. My boss worked 18 hour days sometimes, and she wasn’t the only one in the office to pull those shifts. These people were a committed and dedicated group of people who genuinely believed in what they were preaching. My colleagues were some of the nicest, and truly greatest people I’ve met, and there were some wonderful stories to come out of them.

One volunteer was a lesbian, five time cancer survivor who lived in Windsor. She worked for 48 hours within the last 4 days of the campaign, covering every shift.

My boss was a type 1 diabetic who had fought for women’s rights her whole life. She helped me to fully understand some convoluted topics and showed me how to explain things to people who disagree with passion, but not anger or hatred.

I worked for two months and 11 days on the Hillary Clinton campaign. I found disappointment on Nov. 8 when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election; I was at a victory party downtown at the MGM Grand. But I would never trade that experience for the world. Meeting the best people, learning an incredible amount and gaining an experience of what it truly is like to fight for what you believe in. I encourage everyone and anyone to volunteer for a cause they believe in, whether it be Republican or Democrat, just to see through the eye opening lens that I saw through.