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Support The Guardian, the Newspaper That Ben Jacobs Works For

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

Support The Guardian, the British paper that employs reporter Ben Jacobs. 

By now you’ve heard about how Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for the open house seat representing all of Montana, snapped and attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. Jacobs is evidently OK and Gianforte has since been charged with a misdemeanor. (Gianforte also won the Congressional race.)

While we wish we had a more pleasant prompt, we’re taking it. The Guardian is a good newspaper, and has long been a good newspaper. It deserves your attention and your support.

 

Read the links below, and if you like it, become a supporter of The Guardian:

https://membership.theguardian.com/us/supporter?INTCMP=DOTCOM_HEADER_BECOMEMEMBER_US

 

Here’s Jacobs’s video report on his bizarre encounter with Gianforte:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/may/25/guardian-ben-jacobs-body-slam-video-greg-gianforte

 

Here’s the story Jacobs filed with The Guardian shortly before the infamous meeting:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/montana-special-election-gianforte-assault-charge-guardian

 

Here’s the story that Jacobs wrote that probably played a role in pissing off Gianforte:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/greg-gianforte-republican-candidate-congress-russia-companies

 

And here’s another story by others at The Guardian on the consequences that Gianforte suffered shortly after attacking Jacobs:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/newspapers-ditch-us-republican-charged-with-assaulting-guardian-reporter-montana

 

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Read What an Expert on Authoritarian Thinking Told John Dean About Trump Supporters

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017.

Read a piece by John W. Dean–yes, the John W. Dean who served as counsel to President Nixon in the early 1970s–in which he talks to Bob Altemeyer, a retired psychology professor who specialized in authoritarian thinking, about Trump supporters.

Altemeyer authored the books The Authoritarian Specter, Right Wing Authoritarians, and Enemies of Freedom. He talks with Dean about how Trump supporters think, why they think that way, and what it would take to get them to change their thinking.

It’s not an inspiring read, so we’re going to jump to the end and quote Dean’s final paragraph:

“With that information in mind, from someone who may understand Trump supporters better than Trump does, it is clear that to prevail in 2018 and 2020, Democrats must focus on getting sympathetic non-voters to the polls, and bring back into the fold the anti-Hillary folks, who suffered from Clinton exhaustion—voters who are clearly not right-wing authoritarians.”

Read Altemeyer on Trump Supporters, which Dean wrote as an entry for his column on the Verdict website:

https://verdict.justia.com/2017/07/07/altemeyer-trumps-supporters

 

…Once you’ve done that, go to our “Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression” category, pick something that sounds good to you, and act.

 

You can also subscribe to Verdict, the folks who publish Dean’s column:

http://law.justia.com/subscribe

Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Join Run For Something, And, You Know, Run For Something

Support Run for Something, an organization that recruits people who are under the age of 35 to run for elected office.

Look at Congress and an inescapable fact jumps out at you. Most of the members–the good ones and the bad ones–are on the old side. Some are downright elderly. To be fair, age is not, in and of itself, a barrier to holding elected office, nor should it be. But history shows that Congressfolks are all too happy to coast on their momentum as incumbents long after they’ve lost their drive to effectively serve their constituents.

Run For Something launched on Inauguration Day 2017. It’s one of many progressive organization that sprung up in the wake of the November 2016 election. Its purpose is to recruit young talent–people aged 35 and younger–to run for elected office as state legislators, mayors, city councilors, and the like. It is dedicated to helping more young people get on the ballot generally, and it hopes to build a progressive farm team of left-leaning political talent.

The organization will talk to everyone who fits the profile and expresses interest. It will liaise with similar organizations, such as EMILY’s List, She Should Run, Emerge, the Latino Victory Project, and others. In select cases, it will furnish money and staff.

 

Since we wrote and queued this post, Run For Something proved itself in spectacular fashion on November 8, 2017. It ran 72 candidates in 14 states for state and local races across the country, and 32 of those candidates won. (That number might rise to 34 once recounts in two Virginia House of Delegates races are completed.)

Those neophyte candidates backed by Run For Something notched a success rate of more than 40 percent, when 10 percent is far more typical.

Its winners included Danica Roem, the transgender woman who defeated a longterm incumbent and an avowed homophobe for a Virginia legislature, and Chris Hurst, a former journalist whose journalist girlfriend was killed live, on-air, by a deranged, armed man. He ran for a Virginia state seat on a gun safety platform and beat a three-time incumbent who was backed by the NRA.

Run For Something also supported Ashley Bennett, who got angry when a representative of hers in Atlantic City, N.J., mocked attendees of the Women’s March by wondering if the protest would end in time for them to come home and cook dinner. She ran for his Atlantic County board seat and wrested it away from him.

Run For Something is doing powerful work at the most granular level of government–school committees, planning boards, and the like–spotting young, promising talents and building a strong, progressive farm team from which tomorrow’s political stars will come. It deserves your support.

 

Visit the Run For Something webpage:

https://www.runforsomething.net

 

Learn about the current slate of Run For Something candidates:

https://www.runforsomething.net/candidates

 

Donate to Run For Something:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/rfs?refcode=nav

 

Follow Run For Something on Twitter:

@runforsomething

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/runforsomethingpac

 

Read stories about Run For Something and its November 2017 success:

http://time.com/4974562/amanda-litman-run-for-something/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-perspec-page-donald-trump-virginia-northam-danica-roem-gillespie-1113-20171110-story.html

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Read This Cogent Blog Post on How Best to Oppose Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

 

Read blogger Jonathan Crowe’s cogent post on how best to oppose Trump.

 

In late December, Crowe, a historian, published Opposition in the Age of Gish Gallops, which in one stroke explained what Trump is doing; why it works; why we need a strategy; and why Pence is bad, but Trump is worse.

 

It’s only become more interesting now that the Russia-related scandals have felled Michael Flynn and ensnared Jeff Sessions.

 

The most important takeaway is this:

 

“Make supporting the congressional Republican agenda politically unsustainable for Trump, and vice versa. Find every opportunity to divide the two sides. Make sure Trump never misses an opportunity to blast perfidious congressional Republicans.

 

This does not necessarily mean giving up the fight when congressional Republicans and Trump are in alignment. But don’t expect to win them. Recognize that some fights are strategic and long-term — you will lose them now, and those losses will hurt, but it’s vitally important that you (and the Republic) live to fight another day. In the meantime, be tactical: focus on dividing those Republicans and making their unholy alliance with Trump as difficult as possible.”

 

Read Opposition in the Age of Gish Gallops:

http://www.jonathancrowe.net/2016/12/opposition-in-the-age-of-gish-gallops/

 

 

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 Crowe on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.crowe

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@mcwetboy

 

Action Alerts · Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn How To Get Your State to Rescind A Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Convention

Learn how to get your state to rescind a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention.

 

A cadre of right-wing folks have been agitating for years to call a new Constitutional Convention (also known as a “Con Con”) with the notion of reshaping the U.S. Constitution. They want to pass a balanced budget amendment, evidently to curtail spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

 

See OTYCD‘s past post on how to thwart a Constitutional Convention:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/03/24/thwart-a-constitutional-convention-by-electing-democrats-to-state-legislatures/

 

A minimum of 34 states are required to call a convention, and anything hatched at the convention would need 38 states to pass.

 

Set aside the fact that a Constitutional Convention would bring a heap of chaos–the Constitution does not lay out any procedural rules, and Article V, the part of the Constitution that allows conventions, has never been invoked before.

 

The fact remains that the push for a Constitutional Convention is a right-wing hobby horse, pursued by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other dubious folk.

 

Working to elect Democratic state legislators helps thwart these plans, as we note in the previous post. But there is another step that should be taken.

 

A state that assents to a Constitutional Convention is not locked in. It can rescind its resolution agreeing to the Con Con.

 

Some states have rescinded. In 2017, Nevada, Maryland, and New Mexico all did so.

 

If your state has passed a resolution calling for a Con Con, you can petition your legislature to rescind it.

 

A pro-Con Con group, COS Action, tracks its progress with a map. Yellow states have passed the bill in one chamber. Green states have passed the bill outright. Blue states are those where the bill is “active legislation.” White states are inactive–they have not passed Con Con legislation and don’t appear to be targeted for legislation.

See the map by scrolling down to the header ‘So, Are You Making Any Progress?’ and click on the progress map button:

https://conventionofstates.com

 

 

If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

 

Is your state colored green on the map? Are your state legislative representatives open to sponsoring a bill to rescind a call for a Con Con? If so, ask them to get to work, and check in on them periodically to make sure they’re on it.

 

If your own state legislators would favor this move, do some research and see if there are other legislators in your state who would support it. Recruit friends in that part of the state and ask them to ask their reps for this.

 

 

Is your state colored blue on this map? Call your state legislators, say you oppose calling for a Constitutional Convention, and ask them to fight any state bill that calls for one.

 

 

Yellow states are trickier. The COS map indicates that the bill has passed in one state chamber, but does not say which one. In this case, call your state legislators, say you oppose calling for a Constitutional Convention, and say what you know–a pro-convention interest group indicates that one chamber has passed a bill but you’re not sure which one.

 

Ask for help finding out which state chamber passed the bill. When you have that information, you can take the next step. If the bill passed in the house and is now in the senate, ask your state house rep to prepare a bill to rescind, and ask your state senator to vote no on any state senate counterpart that might be live. If it’s the other way around, act accordingly.

 

And as stated before, continue to work to elect state-level representatives who aren’t on board with a Con Con. In general, that means voting for Democrats, sane Republicans, and sane Independents.

 

 

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 a November 2017 backgrounder on the Con Con from the CBS website:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/will-there-be-a-new-constitutional-convention/

 

 

Read an August 2017 piece from the Bill Moyers site on the right-wing push for a Con Con, led by ALEC:

http://billmoyers.com/story/alec-constitutional-convention/

 

 

Read a May 2017 story from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) website on states that rescinded their calls for a Con Con:

https://www.cbpp.org/blog/nevada-joins-maryland-new-mexico-in-rescinding-calls-for-a-constitutional-convention

 

 

See the language of Nevada’s 2017 state bill rescinding its call for a Con Con:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/SJR/SJR10.pdf

Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Read About the History (Yes, History) of Accusing Protestors of Being What Some Now Call “Crisis Actors”

Read a February 2018 New York Times piece on the history–yes, the history–of accusing protestors and activists of being what some people now call “crisis actors.”

 

A particularly gross, but damnably inevitable, aspect of the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, was the claim by some that the eloquent young survivors were “crisis actors.”

 

Their accusers weren’t talking about actual crisis actors, who are people hired to play victims and survivors during realistic disaster drills. They were implying that the MSD students, who emerged from their trauma as pissed-off gun safety activists, were paid by some shadowy cabal that’s bent on destroying the Second Amendment.

 

Here’s the thing–while the term has changed, the concept behind the “crisis actor” has not. In a February 2018 piece for the New York Times, writer Niraj Chokshi shows it goes as least as far back as the years following the Civil War. Back then, black “outside agitators” were blamed for allegedly exaggerating their testimonies of the violence and discrimination they suffered, both from the Ku Klux Klan and in general.

 

In the 20th century, the nine children who bravely volunteered to integrate the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, were accused of being paid for their trouble.

 

The piece does not discuss why some people are so determined to push the myth that people who step up and do and say difficult things have to be getting paid to do it. (That would be an interesting and worthy follow-up.) Regardless, it’s worth your time.

 

 

Read the New York Times piece on the history of the “crisis actor” accusation:

 

 

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!

 

 

Community Activism · Good News · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Believe It, You Matter, Part IV: Just Keep Swimming

This OTYCD entry originally posted in December 2017.

 

Imagine an Olympic-size swimming pool, and imagine you’re the only person in it.

 

Swim to the pool’s edge. Start doing laps around the pool by following the edge. One lap is one complete rectangle. Ready? Go.

 

One lap.

Two laps.

Three laps.

Take as much time as you want. It’s not a race.

Five laps.

Seven laps.

Ten.

Ok, stop swimming.

 

See what’s happening?

 

Your limbs are still, but you’re moving forward on the momentum of the current that you created. Keep swimming, and the current will get stronger, and it will float you forward when you need to rest.

 

Now imagine that you invite more people to join you in the pool. They file in behind you, and they follow you in swimming laps around the edge.

 

What happens? The current grows stronger, faster.

 

This is what political action can be. If it’s just you swimming, it’ll take a while to get some momentum going, but once it’s going, you’re good, and you can even rest every now and again. If you can recruit people to swim with you, you can build momentum even faster, and you can rest reliably, safe in the knowledge that the flow won’t stop.

 

Ok, yes, let’s admit it–we’re sharing the pool with folks who are trying to swim in the opposite direction, and some of those folks have no interest in playing fair. But never forget–there are more of us than there are of them.

 

If we work together and we just keep swimming, our momentum will be unstoppable.

 

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