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Canvassing in Florida

This past weekend I had the opportunity to canvass for President Barack Obama with the Ole Miss College Democrats. Mississippi State Rep. Tommy Reynolds provided the transportation to Florida, and once we got there, he provided the inspiration for the volunteers.
I recall him explaining why he drove us 11 hours to campaign in the heavily contested state of Florida.
“I’m in this for my son,” Reynolds said.
He explained that his son suffers from multiple sclerosis and the medicine that he needs costs upward of $7,000 per month. Reynolds stated that he would not want anyone’s child to be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I could not agree more.
I understand that insurance companies are in business for profit and that taking on a person with a pre-existing condition is counterproductive. I just want to ask: Where is the compassion that we as people should have for one another?
I have heard plenty of people say statements like, “Why should my rates go up to pay for someone’s health?”
Quite frankly, I understand why someone would feel that way. However, I would like to ask those who feel this way to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, specifically in the shoes of a mother with a child born with a pre-existing condition.
Former Florida State Rep. Ed Jennings said he proudly calls the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” because it reassures him that Obama truly cares about the American people. I am willing to bet many people’s sentiments toward health care reform would be drastically different if the people affected were their family members.
Canvassing for the president provided me with an eye-opening experience. It really warmed my heart to see people of all different backgrounds working together toward a common goal.
Aside from seeing different people working together, canvassing showed me the importance of grassroots movements in key battleground states, such as Florida. The field directors continually stressed the importance of just getting “one more vote.” Getting “one more vote” is especially important if one considers that the election of 2000 was decided by 537 votes. Although I became fatigued walking to door after door after door, I continually recalled the words “one more vote.” Reflecting on those words providing me with the fuel I needed to just knock on one more door or talk to one more person.
Although the election has been decided by now, I am just happy to have played a part in our great political process and campaign for the man I think will best lead our country for the next four years.

Tim Abram is a junior public policy major from Horn Lake. Follow him on Twitter @Tim_Abram.