As the US presidential election approaches, both camps are drafting in volunteers to phone people and persuade them to vote on 6 November.
My friend Dana makes calls for Elizabeth Warren every Thursday night. Warren is a left wing Democrat running for the Senate. Dana says a good call is when the person just rants and hates politicians. A bad call is when they abuse Dana himself.
The volunteers work two hour shifts. They can’t bear longer. Yet they are mostly calling lists of people who have given money to the Democrats before.
People have reason for their anger. The most unequal rich country in the world has grown more unequal under Barack Obama.
The richest 5 percent have done well, but not the rest. In 2008, George Bush’s last year, unemployment averaged 5.8 percent. It now bumps along at 8 percent, and another 8 percent want full time work but can’t get it.
Millions have lost their homes, yet the government has done almost nothing to help them. Schools, hospitals and welfare programs have been cut.
Things have been bad for five years now. It looks like they will stay bad for years. Many people allowed themselves to hope for change. Now they feel like fools.
Obama is not a left winger, or even a New Deal Democrat. His senior economic appointments are Wall Street veterans and he lets them run things. This does not mean Mitt Romney is popular. People are angry with all politicians. Most people are not right wing.
But Obama and vice president Joe Biden looked bad in the TV debates because they have nothing to say. Obama defended healthcare reform, which has not affected people’s lives.
Other than that, he can’t run on what he’s done. He won’t promise better in future so he looks defensive and ashamed. The Democrats are reduced to arguing that Romney would be worse.
That's why Romney is edging ahead in the polls. It’s still close. But Americans deserve better than this.