A Lesson

I have been doing get out the vote efforts in Durham via holdover relationships with Durham for Obama friends, in conjunction with the Democratic Party. I do GOTV because I want to impact the election in the direction of my policy preferences, and also because I enjoy and learn from interacting with a variety of people in Durham, many of whom I wouldn’t meet during a normal day at Duke.

Monday I gave two women a ride to vote who had requested one. I met them outside their apartment at the agreed upon time, and was shocked when they didn’t have a car seat for their children. I was hesitant but drove them….but was really judging the hell out of them as I drove. One of the ladies must have sensed this and said “I can’t afford to buy a car seat for a few car rides a year.” She went on to say that she thought the last time she was in a car was Fourth of July weekend. She then told me that due to her shift work job, Monday was the only day she could vote and really wanted to do so. She pointed out that you can ride the city bus without a car seat, her typical means of transportation. I was and am struck by how much effort and planning it took her to vote, while I think nothing of it.

I love doing GOTV  because it is fun to be joined with others in common purpose, you meet and help people from different walks of life, and I always learn something about myself and our country.




About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and Chair of the Academic Council at Duke University https://academiccouncil.duke.edu/ . I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

One Response to A Lesson

  1. Ross McKinney, M.D. says:

    Excellent story, Don. That’s a great lesson about some of what we take for granted. And thank you for doing the work of helping people to vote!

    Ross McKinney

    Sent from my iPad

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