Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Evangelize (In a Good Way)

Learn, and practice, how to tell the story of the candidates you support, and become an evangelist for them.

 

One of the most important things you can do to push back against Trump is convince people to come out and vote against his democracy-destroying agenda. But if you really want to be effective, you want to immerse yourself in the merits and the story of a non-Trumpish candidate, fully master it, and be ready to make a powerful, personal, eloquent case for voting for them.

 

Now, a personal confession. Sarah Jane here. I’m the founder of the OTYCD blog and the lead wrangler of research and of its anonymous writers. This is my 2016 story.

 

So it’s late 2015 or so and the election is starting to gear up. I resign myself to voting for Clinton. I’m meh on her but I don’t think Bernie can do the job, the Republicans are all thoroughly horrible, and the third party options look miserable, too.

 

But at some point I see clips from that eleven-hour Congressional Benghazi hearing.

 

And I see Clinton own those Republican twerps like the boss she is. Own. Them. Completely and thoroughly. She cleans the floor with them till she can see her face in it, and she doesn’t even break a sweat. She slays. She dominates. She destroys. Through her actions and her attitude, she reveals the hearings for what they are–a formal, coordinated attempt to kneecap her 2016 presidential campaign–and she ain’t havin’ it. At all.

 

And I realized: She can do this, and she wants to do this. She is crazy-smart and ludicrously skilled, and she has a skin as thick as a rhino’s, and she actually wants to be president. She’s been through hell and back so many times, from so many different directions, she could write a guidebook on it for Lonely Planet. She has taken far more than her allotted ration of shit in this life. She has long since earned the right to walk in the woods and play with her grandkids. But she wants to do this. Damn. Whoa.

 

In that moment I became a Clinton convert. The scales fell from my eyes. I went from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’ I was *excited* to vote for her. Not as much as I was for Obama, but I was excited.

 

Now, here’s my sin: I didn’t tell anyone about my change of heart. At no point before the 2016 election did I speak up to anyone else and say why I was excited to vote for her.

 

I donated to her campaign. I voted for her in the primary. I stayed on top of the issues. I watched all three debates. I voted for her for president. But never did I ever sit with friends and family and spontaneously say why I was so jazzed to vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

I live in a state that went overwhelmingly for Clinton. I can tell myself that not speaking well of her once I started thinking well of her made no difference.

 

But c’mon. What if more of us had shown genuine enthusiasm for voting for her? What if more of us had evangelized for her?

 

What if our friends and family made note of that, and passed the word to others–that there are people out there, sane and fine people, who actually like Clinton and want to vote for her?

 

Don’t get me wrong–I realize she had a fine contingent of folks who did speak well of her, early and often, and I realize a goodly number of them read this blog. I’m wondering how things might be different if that contingent were bigger, and if folks who share my Clinton journey had stepped up and joined it.

 

The overriding perception was that those who cast votes for either major presidential candidate in 2016 did so while holding their noses.

 

Remember the ‘Giant Meteor 2016’ bumper stickers? Judging by the way the election was covered, no one would blame you for thinking it was a giant nationwide game of ‘Would You Rather?’

 

It wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t for me. I liked Clinton, and I still like her, and what she stands for. And I’ve gone from being irked to pissed to stabby about how the right wing noise machine has done its level best to smear her for 30 goddamn years.

 

It’s too late to do right by Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate. But you can devote yourself to becoming a better evangelist for non-Trumpish candidates running in special elections and in 2018 who will restore and defend our democracy. (“Non-Trumpish” candidates include Republicans and conservatives who have spines, btw.)

 

You don’t have to formally join their campaigns to be effective. Heck, you might be more effective if you don’t. Just do your damnedest to learn about them, and what they stand for, and figure out what it is about them that you connect with most, and tell others why.

 

You have power. You have friends and family who listen to you and value what you have to say. Hearing people you trust speak happily, and authentically, about a candidate for office helps that candidate’s chances of winning that office.

 

Speaking up is scary. Some people will challenge you, talk over you, even yell at you and try to shout you down. But you need to speak up anyway. It’s too important. Do not succumb to silence. Do what you have to do to learn how to speak up, and get good at it, and start working on it now, in summer 2017, well before the primaries.

 

We need you. We need every voice. Our democracy depends on it.

 

Update: Since I wrote this I realized (headsmack) that many of those who stuck up for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign got shouted down, and they’re still getting shouted down months later. I can only point back to my own experience.

 

I know most of my crowd was pro-Clinton, but no one expressed spontaneous enthusiasm for her. I don’t think I would have felt any pushback if I had voiced my enthusiasm in real life (online is of course another matter) but I can’t know because I did not think to try.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

VOTE. HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY VOTE. TODAY IS THE DAY. THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE HERE.

The time has come.

 

It’s worth all caps.

 

VOTE. HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY VOTE. TODAY IS THE DAY. THE MIDTERMS ARE HERE!

 

Know also: Some Democrats will lose some races. We at OTYCD would be delighted if every Democrat wins every race everywhere, but come on, that’s not gonna happen.

 

Know also: Trump, notoriously, has done nothing to secure America’s voting infrastructure against onslaughts from Russian cyber-attacks.

 

Whatever happens, stay strong, stay realistic, and stay here and carry on the fight.

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Get Out There and Support the Work of #TheLastWeekend

This OTYCD post originally ran on July 28, 2018. We’re reposting it today, tomorrow, and November 5 as a reminder to get out there and do the work of supporting #TheLastWeekend however you can.

 

Get your calendar NOW RIGHT NOW and block off Saturday, November 3 through Tuesday, November 6 to support The Last Weekend, a coordinated push to defend and save our democracy.

 

Sounds a bit histrionic, we admit, but with the fallout from the July 16, 2018 Helsinki conference and the continued failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to do anything substantial about it, it’s clear that democracy in America is under threat.

 

You need to wipe your calendar in the days leading up to the midterms and devote yourself to The Last Weekend.

 

It’s an effort backed by every org you like — Swing Left, Flippable, Sister District, Moveon,  Indivisible, Resistbot, Wall-of-Us, you name it.

 

Its goal is to encourage everyone to talk to fellow potential voters. From the homepage:

 

Study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3rd–Tuesday, November 6th).

 

You’ve done a lot. You’re doing a lot. Can you rearrange your life to do this in early November? Please?

 

 

See the homepage for The Last Weekend:

https://thelastweekend.org

 

 

Read a Political Charge post that supports The Last Weekend:

The Last Weekend: A Call to Action We Can All Support

 

 

Also watch the hashtag #TheLastWeekend on Twitter.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Get Out There and Support the Work of #TheLastWeekend

This OTYCD post originally ran on July 28, 2018. We’re reposting it today, tomorrow, and November 5 as a reminder to get out there and do the work of supporting #TheLastWeekend however you can.

 

Get your calendar NOW RIGHT NOW and block off Saturday, November 3 through Tuesday, November 6 to support The Last Weekend, a coordinated push to defend and save our democracy.

 

Sounds a bit histrionic, we admit, but with the fallout from the July 16, 2018 Helsinki conference and the continued failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to do anything substantial about it, it’s clear that democracy in America is under threat.

 

You need to wipe your calendar in the days leading up to the midterms and devote yourself to The Last Weekend.

 

It’s an effort backed by every org you like — Swing Left, Flippable, Sister District, Moveon,  Indivisible, Resistbot, Wall-of-Us, you name it.

 

Its goal is to encourage everyone to talk to fellow potential voters. From the homepage:

 

Study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3rd–Tuesday, November 6th).

 

You’ve done a lot. You’re doing a lot. Can you rearrange your life to do this in early November? Please?

 

 

See the homepage for The Last Weekend:

https://thelastweekend.org

 

 

Read a Political Charge post that supports The Last Weekend:

The Last Weekend: A Call to Action We Can All Support

 

 

Also watch the hashtag #TheLastWeekend on Twitter.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Get Out There and Support the Work of #TheLastWeekend

This OTYCD post originally ran on July 28, 2018. We’re reposting it today, tomorrow, and November 5 as a reminder to get out there and do the work of supporting #TheLastWeekend however you can.

 

Get your calendar NOW RIGHT NOW and block off Saturday, November 3 through Tuesday, November 6 to support The Last Weekend, a coordinated push to defend and save our democracy.

 

Sounds a bit histrionic, we admit, but with the fallout from the July 16, 2018 Helsinki conference and the continued failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to do anything substantial about it, it’s clear that democracy in America is under threat.

 

You need to wipe your calendar in the days leading up to the midterms and devote yourself to The Last Weekend.

 

It’s an effort backed by every org you like — Swing Left, Flippable, Sister District, Moveon,  Indivisible, Resistbot, Wall-of-Us, you name it.

 

Its goal is to encourage everyone to talk to fellow potential voters. From the homepage:

 

Study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3rd–Tuesday, November 6th).

 

You’ve done a lot. You’re doing a lot. Can you rearrange your life to do this in early November? Please?

 

 

See the homepage for The Last Weekend:

https://thelastweekend.org

 

 

Read a Political Charge post that supports The Last Weekend:

The Last Weekend: A Call to Action We Can All Support

 

 

Also watch the hashtag #TheLastWeekend on Twitter.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Community Activism · Elections

Feed Hungry Voters Through Pizza to the Polls

Feed hungry would-be voters through Pizza to the Polls, an organization that delivers pizza to voters waiting in line, as well as protestors.

 

Democracy is hard work. Hungry work, sometimes. When long lines form at the polls, some folks might give up and go home if they’re hungry or have no hope of getting fed and voting before they have to be back at their jobs.

 

Enter Pizza to the Polls, an organization that accepts reports of poll lines and sends pizza to those waiting to vote.

 

As of December 24, 2017, Pizza to the Polls has accepted more than $50,000 in donations and delivered more than 2,500 pizzas to voters in Chicago, Miami, Cincinnati, JFK airport, Dulles airport, and more. It also delivered pizzas to people in Washington who protested the GOP tax bill in December 2017.

 

Note: donations are not tax-deductible.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See the Pizza to the Polls website:

https://polls.pizza

 

 

Follow its Twitter feed:

@PizzatothePolls

 

 

Donate to the pizza fund:

https://polls.pizza/#donate

 

 

Report a long line outside a polling place, so the Pizza to the Polls folks can work their magic (you’ll need the address of the venue):

https://polls.pizza/#request

 

 

Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Believe It, You Matter, Part VIII: No Matter What the Polls Say, Act Like Your Candidates Are Ten Points Behind

ThisOTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

No matter what the polls say, always act like your candidates are ten points behind.

 

If you’ve been watching the polls on “generic Democratic Congressional candidates” vs the GOP, you know that they’ve been all over the place–sometimes giving the Dems a huge lead, sometimes showing the GOP closing the gap.

 

Ignore those polls.

 

Ok, let’s be more specific. No matter what’s happening with the polls, always act like the candidates you’re supporting are ten points behind. Even if they’re not.

 

2018 promises to be the most consequential midterm election in several decades, and possibly the most consequential since midterms began.

 

You need to focus and stay focused on your candidates. (You’re using the Core Four technique, yes?)

 

Keep talking to friends and family about them. Keep volunteering for them. Keep donating to them regularly (small sums given monthly are better than a big lump sum given once). Keep boosting them on social media.

 

Stick to your schedule of self-imposed breaks. Burnout is a thing. We need you. Yes, things are bad and this election is crucial, but still, don’t try to do everything all the time or you won’t be able to do anything.

 

And! Keep talking to friends and family about voting, and make sure everyone you know is registered to vote, knows where the polling place is, and knows how they’re getting there on the day.

 

Polls say many things. Don’t be lulled into complacency if your candidates are doing well.  Keep putting in the same amount of time, money, and effort that you’ve put in all along, and encourage everyone you know who’s game to do more than show up and vote to do whatever else they’re willing to do, whatever that is.

 

Stay strong. Stay steady. Stay focused.