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

Learn to Evangelize (In a Good Way)

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018. 

 

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!

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support M.J. Hegar’s Bid to Unseat Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn

Support M.J. Hegar’s bid to unseat Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.

 

If M.J. Hegar seems familiar, she should. She was featured in that amazing campaign video, Doors, which went viral in 2018.

 

Hegar lost the House of Representatives race for which she made that ad. (The final tally was 50.6 to 47.7, so, close, but not enough to win.) Undaunted, she’s now aiming at Senator John Cornyn, who’s up for re-election in 2020.

 

She’s picked a hard row to hoe. The Cook Political Report rates Cornyn’s seat as Solid Republican. And while Cornyn has racked up more than his share of jackholery in his time in the Senate, he’s not Ted Cruz.

 

Please consider M.J. Hegar for your Core Four for 2020.

 

See Hegar’s campaign website:

MJ for Texas

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mjh_website?refcode=web_homepage&amount=25&recurring=1

 

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!

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MJforTexas/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1945077182405313&ref=page_internal

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@mjhegar

 

Rewatch her stirring Doors campaign video:

 

See Ballotpedia’s page on Hegar:

https://ballotpedia.org/M.J._Hegar

 

See Ballotpedia’s page for the Texas Senate election in 2020:

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_election_in_Texas,_2020

Candidates · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Support Democrat Jaime Harrison’s Campaign to Unseat Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in 2020

Support Democrat Jaime Harrison’s campaign to unseat Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in 2020.

 

Graham is among the most infuriating Republicans in the Senate. He shows periodic flickers of self-awareness, but he never lets that get in the way of his craven pursuit of power. The man who once tweeted, “If we nominate Donald Trump, we will get destroyed……. and we will deserve it,” now golfs with the man on the regular.

 

We need someone to run against this malignant twerp. Jaime Harrison has stepped up.

 

He’s going to need our help. The Cook Political Report rates Lindsey’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

Please consider him for your Core Four for 2020.

 

See Jaime Harrison’s campaign website:

Jaime Harrison for Senate

 

Donate to Harrison’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_harrison_fr_homepage_2019?refcode=MS_HP_FR_X_X_homepage_X__F1_S1_C1__X&recurring=auto&amount=25

 

Sign up to volunteer for Harrison (if you live in North Carolina): https://go.jaimeharrison.com/page/s/volunteer-sign-up?source=MS_HP_FR_X_X_homepage-signup_X__F1_S1_C1__X

 

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!

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/JaimeHarrisonSC/photos/?tab=album&album_id=328073017309141&ref=page_internal

 

Follow Harrison on Twitter:

@harrisonjaime

 

See Harrison’s Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Jaime_R._Harrison

Candidates · Elections · Uncategorized

See Ballotpedia’s Complete List of Everyone Who’s Running for President In 2020

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2019. 

 

See Ballotpedia’s complete list of everyone who’s running for president in 2020.

 

A LOT of people are running for president in 2020. Most are Democrats. Not all, but most.  And more are sure to join. It’s April 2019 as we type this.

 

Anyway. If you want to track all the 2020 presidential candidate comings-and-goings, Ballotpedia is on the case.

 

It lists everyone who is running, everyone who’s thinking about running, and everyone who thought about it and decided against it.

 

See their 2020 presidential candidate tracking page here:

https://ballotpedia.org/Presidential_candidates,_2020

 

Political Charge has a tracking page as well, but it focuses on Democratic candidates. See it here:

2020 Candidates: Who’s In, Who’s Out, and Who’s in Waiting

 

See the main Ballotpedia webpage:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Read its Our History page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Our_History

 

 

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!

 

 

Read its Contact and FAQ page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Overview_and_contact_information

 

 

Subscribe to Ballotpedia’s weekly newsletter, The Federal Tap:

https://ballotpedia.org/The_Federal_Tap:_New_polls_reveal_sizable_lead_in_one_U.S._Senate_race,_tightening_margins_in_another

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like the Ballotpedia page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia/

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support Mark Kelly In His Race for an Arizona Senate Seat in 2020

Support Mark Kelly in his race for an Arizona Senate seat in 2020.

 

Kelly is a former astronaut and the husband of Gabby Giffords, who retired from the House of Representatives after she and several others were shot at a local meet-and-greet event.

 

He’s aiming for the seat currently held by Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill it in 2018 after she lost a different Arizona Senate race to Kyrsten Sinema. (John McCain had held the Senate seat until he died in September 2018. Governor Doug Ducey appointed Jon Kyl, who agreed to serve for only a few months.)

 

The Arizona Senate seat is one of the most gettable for Democrats in 2020, not least because Kelly is running. The Cook Political Report rates it as a Toss-up.

 

Please consider Kelly for your Core Four for 2020.

 

 

See Mark Kelly’s campaign website:

https://markkelly.com

 

 

See his Issues page:

https://markkelly.com/issues/

 

 

See his Why I’m Running page:

https://markkelly.com/why-im-running/

 

 

Donate to Mark Kelly’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mek-website?refcode=website-donate

 

 

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!

 

 

Buy merch in his store:

https://store.markkelly.com

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Capt.MarkKelly/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@ShuttleCDRKelly

 

See his Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Mark_Kelly

 

 

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Help Andrew Gillum Register Floridians to Vote in Time for the 2020 Presidential Race

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2019.

 

Help Andrew Gillum register Floridians to vote ahead of the 2020 presidential race.

 

Gillum made headlines when he fought valiantly in 2018 in the Florida gubernatorial race. (He was narrowly defeated by Republican Ron DeSantis.)

 

Far from being cowed by the loss, Gillum has devoted himself to fulfilling the promise of Amendment 4, which voters passed last year.

 

The amendment passed with 65 percent of the vote, more than the 60 percent required to make it law. It will re-enfranchise more than a million Floridians–possibly as many as 1.4 million, the numbers vary–who were barred from voting after a felony conviction.

 

Republicans know all too well that the more people vote, the more likely their candidates are to lose.

 

And they also know all too well how critical Florida has been to presidential contests. The 2000 contest hit a serious snag there, with recounts and hanging chads and other absurdities. Ultimately, the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore in a decision that deserves eternal side-eye.

 

Though Amendment 4 was well-written, state-level GOP are doing their damnedest to neuter it. They’re trying to pass a law that would force all ex-felons to pay any and all remaining court fees before they’re allowed to vote again, a move that many have called out as a variation on a unconstitutional poll tax. [Update, June 2019: the state legislature did indeed pass that law, which makes support for Gillum’s efforts that much more important.]

 

Gillum, who had many options available to him after his impressive campaign and close loss, has chosen to invest his momentum in an effort to register as many new Florida voters as possible.

 

Gillum created Bring It Home Florida to ensure that Amendment 4 works as designed, and to make the state as fierce a fight as possible for Trump in 2020.

 

We at OTYCD are going to beat the voter registration drum hard in 2019, but we’re starting here.

 

The most important thing you can do this year, the year before the presidential contest, is to register or help register as many people to vote as possible.

 

We need to recruit new voters and we need to encourage people to vote. The more who vote, the more likely we are to vote Trump out of office in 2020.

 

If your funds are limited, the smartest use of your money in 2019 is giving it to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) organizations such as Bring It Home Florida. Even more so than giving it to candidates, to be honest.

 

If your budget allows, please, do both. But if it doesn’t, put your money into signing people up to vote and removing barriers to voting.

 

An interesting final note on this. Rick Wilson, a onetime GOP operative who lives in Florida, and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies, had this to say about Bring It Home Florida on Twitter on March 21, 2019, not long after Gillum unveiled the initiative:

 

1/ A few words about Andrew Gillum’s plan to register a million new voters in Florida.

 

2/ Once upon a Time in the dark ages of the early 90s the Republican party of Florida got off its ass and started registering voters. This was during the era of Tom Slade, a two-fisted balls-out party chairman and after.

 

3/ Then came the era of complacency and corruption with Charlie Crist and Jim Greer. (Wrote about it in years ago. You can Google it.) Rick Scott hated the party and ran his own independent operation. We kind of slacked off on the whole voter reg thing.

 

4/ Fastest growing voter demo in Florida forever has been non-party affiliated. Basically a tie ball game between the Republicans and the Democrats. Democrats have seen greater greater growth in South Florida, Republicans in North Florida, broadly speaking.

 

5/ Democratic party of Florida is a gigantic trainwreck without the ability to get out of its own way, to mount a serious campaign operations, or to win statewide races by and large.

 

6/ Current #: R: 4.7 D: 4.9 NPA: 3.6 The NPA FL voter in the last 20 years is *broadly* a Shy Tory R voter. Call it 55-60ish%. or may disagree, but we can parse it later.

 

7/ So if is serious, and registers and IDs and *activates* even 500,000 it’s a game changer up and down the ticket. Hillary Clinton’s people talked about doing something similar, but it was a complete Potemkin village.

 

8/ It would be of much greater consequence than a quixotic presidential bid. If roughly half the Democratic field did the same they would alter the shape of American politics, but doing the gut work of politics is boring and hard.

 

So, please, let’s support the guy who passed up a run at the presidency to do the boring, hard gut work of politics.

 

 

See the Bring It Home Florida website:

Home

 

 

Donate to Bring It Home Florida:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bringithomefl

 

 

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!

 

 

Like Bring It Home Florida on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BringItHomeFlorida/photos/?tab=album&album_id=787690298266063

 

 

Follow Bring It Home Florida on Twitter:

@BringItHomeFL

 

 

Read about the passage of Amendment 4 in 2018:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article220678880.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/07/665031366/over-a-million-florida-ex-felons-win-right-to-vote-with-amendment-4

 

 

Read about Gillum announcing the creation of Bring It Home Florida:

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2019/03/20/gillums-red-flag-plan-to-stop-trump-1m-new-florida-voters-927053

Andrew Gillum announces voter registration effort: ‘Are y’all ready to flip Florida blue?’

 

 

Read about the Florida GOP legislator’s attempt to neuter Amendment 4 by creating what amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax:

 

 

Elections

Support Erin Zwiener, Who’s Running For a State-Level House Rep Seat in Texas (Good Update March 2019)

Update, March 2019: Zwiener won her 2018 state-level race with 51.6 percent of the vote to her Republican opponent’s 48.4 percent. She faces re-election in 2021.

 

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

 

Update: Zwiener advanced to the Democratic primary runoff, which will take place on May 22, 2018. She came second to Rebecca Bell-Metereau, who pulled in 45.41 percent of the vote to Zwiener’s 30.66 percent.

 

Support Erin Zwiener, who’s running for a state representative seat in House District 45 in Texas. The Democratic primary election takes place on March 6, 2018. 

 

Zwiener might have the best campaign slogan of any Texas state-level candidate: “Let’s put the ALL back in Y’ALL!” She’s a fifth-generation Texan, a children’s book author, and a three-time Jeopardy! champion.

 

She favors expanding Medicaid in her state, as well as fully funding its public school system. She supports LGBTQ rights, immigrants, and taking sexual assault and domestic violence as seriously as other crimes. She would encourage investment in renewable energy sources, promote conservation, legalize and regulate marijuana, and fight gerrymandering and vote-suppressing tactics.

 

 

See Zwiener’s campaign site:

https://www.erinforyall.com

 

 

Donate to Zwiener:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/yallmeansall

 

 

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!

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ErinForYall/

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@ErinForYall

 

 

Run For Something is backing Zwiener. See her on its Candidates page:

https://www.runforsomething.net/candidates

 

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Erin_Zwiener