My experience in Senator Perdue’s office fortunately, though also unfortunately at the same time, lead to more “undercover” bipartisan work. I use “undercover” loosely, like I said, I had no malicious intentions working across party lines. I was merely curious to see how the GOP operated at different levels and to consider at every turn why I disagreed with their values. Thus, just days after returning to Nashville from my stint in Senator Perdue’s office, I found myself working as a field organizer for Congressman Diane Black. Yes, I said congressman. Mrs. Black, the third-term representative of Tennessee’s Sixth District, is one of three women in Congress who prefers to be called “Congressman” instead of “Congresswoman.” She believed that it was a sign of respect, that “Congressman” garnered more respect because it meant she was looked at just like all the other men in DC. It seemed archaic to me to think that “Congresswoman” would be a lesser title, but I didn’t think it was my place to disagree.
I knocked doors for nearly ten hours a day for Congressman Black. Asking people if they were planning to vote in the upcoming Republican Primary for Congress, I was astonished to see how few people knew what I was talking about. An incredible amount of people, when asked that question, responded that they didn’t know anything other than that they’re voting for Trump. These were not cold calls either. All of the houses we visited were registered Republicans who had previously voted in primaries and still a large handful didn’t even acknowledge its existence.
On the other hand, I was able to converse with some extremely well-informed citizens, many of which were considered with Congressman Black’s status as an “insider” on account of her decades of political experience. This message was propagated by her primary opponent Joe Carr and those of his ilk who use their inexperience as a strength to convince voters that career politicians are inept to govern.