Law in Contemporary Society
In 2007, I worked for John Edwards for President in New Hampshire as a Field Organizer. I decided to work for him because I believed in the causes that he was promoting and that I knew a guy who could get me a job in the organization. I had never met him.

A Field Organizer is a fancy way to say that I was a paid telemarketer and door to door salesman for John Edwards. Over a six month period, I knocked on 8,000 doors and made over 35,000 phone calls. I worked upwards of ninety hours a week and spent eleven hours a day talking to voters. I made a staggering sum of $2,000 a month and felt lucky to be paid that much.

The most satisfying part of my job was when I would convince someone to vote and/or volunteer for John Edwards. For the most part, these were people who had never met the candidate but were willing to volunteer or vote for him because I, a virtual stranger, had asked them to. These volunteers would take time out of their busy lives to urge strangers to vote for a person they had never met. There was a saying on the campaign, “A voter will vote for the candidate because he or she believes in the candidate. A voter will work for the candidate because he or she believes in you.”

The most annoying voters were the voters that insisted on meeting the candidate before deciding. (“I need to look him in the eye before deciding.” “I need him to answer some questions for me.”) I always thought this was ridiculous. Just do some research, find out who you agree with, and vote for them. I never met the candidate so why do you need to?

In retrospect, these voters were the annoying voters but also the smart voters. In New Hampshire, people make their political beliefs public. These voters did not want to attach their name to anyone unless they were entirely positive their decision was a good one. They were going to do as much research as they could, and this meant meeting the candidate. These voters, unlike me, understood that a candidate is more than a collection of his policies.

I didn't pawn my law license to John Edwards, but I did pawn my credibility. I was always told that I was proxy for the campaign and the candidate and to behave in an according manner. What was never told to me, and that I only realized after the fact, is that John Edwards was a proxy for me. He was a proxy for my political judgment and wisdom.

I will forever be associated with this deeply flawed man. I assured people that this unrepentant liar could be trusted. I urged family, friends and strangers to vote, donate money, and sacrifice time for a scummy person. I am angry and ashamed to be associated with him. I hate that in every job interview I feel that I have to explain myself. The teasing questions from friends and family sting because I know they are right. Never again will I be put in the position to have to apologize for doing my job well. That is why I will never pawn my license.

-- JohnAlbanese - 04 Feb 2010



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r3 - 29 Apr 2010 - 21:09:29 - JohnAlbanese
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