Doris Haddock’s first foray into activism took place in 1960, when she helped stop the planned use of hydrogen bombs in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope.
In 1989 and 1990, she walked 3200 miles across the United States, over a period of 14 months, in an effort to promote passage of the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill. This year, she is a maverick candidate for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire running against Republican incumbent and former governor, Judd Gregg.
Following her primary message, that our nation’s leaders have been corrupted by special interest dollars and no longer represent the interests of their constituents, Mrs. Haddock has pledged to take “not one penny” from special interests, relying instead on small donations from individuals.
“My victory,” she says, “will be a good sign that people can win elections without special interest money. And I will be free to vote on the merits of the issues, as I will have no strings attached."
Mrs. Haddack was invited to make this run for the U.S. Senate when the Democratic Party of New Hampshire candidate dropped out of the race on the day of the deadline to register for the election.
“I was at home taking a rest,” she recalls. “They said: ‘You have to decide before 5.30 tonight whether you want to do it’. I went up to where you have to sign and talked to the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. She said: ‘Your name will be recognised’.”
- - quoted in: www.timesonline.co.uk, 14 October 2004
This would be only a mildly quirky campaign story that timegoesby.net, which maintains a neutral political point of view except on issues of aging, would not mention except for one small fact: Doris Haddock, better known – and widely so in the U.S. - as Granny D, is 94 years old.
The late Gray Panthers founder, Maggie Kuhn, said, that “old age is an excellent time for outrage.” It is also an excellent time, when children are raised and there is more free time, to give something back. I’m not saying we should all run for national office as Granny D is doing – though if it’s your passion to change things, why not? If Washington politics seems too big a leap, there are plenty of local issues that could use the wisdom older folks have gained through the decades. Granny D’s advice in a speech to college students works just as well for older folks:
“Look around every now and then and wonder what all this life is about. Who is served by all this life? Life serves life, and we are happiest and at our best when we let our full life force – indeed, our divine life force - rise within us as we engage our lives in service to the world, to the life around us. We are happiest when we are serving life and adding to its health and bounty. We are simply made that way, made for cooperation and joining of every kind.”
U.S. readers can see Granny D on Thursday, 21 October, when she meets her opponent in a debate that will be broadcast live on C-SPAN at 7PM ET.
“I’m looking forward to the debate,” said Mrs. Haddock. “I certainly have the facts on my side, while his major accomplishments are voting for the Iraq War, billionaire tax cuts, and preventing the government from negotiating lower prescription drug prices.”
You can find out more about Granny D, read her stands on the issues and her speeches at her campaign Website.