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

Read Alexandra Erin and Courtney Milan On Why You Need to Vote, Even Though 2020 Won’t Be Fair

Read Alexandra Erin’s and Courtney Milan’s tweets on why you need to vote, even though the 2020 election almost certainly won’t be fair.

 

Alexandra Erin is a goddamn genius. We’ve said as much before, and we’re sure to say it again.

 

Her political tweets are marvels of insight and clarity. It’s tempting to devote blog posts to all her threads, and we avoid this only through serious discipline.

 

But she said some things in the wee hours of June 30, 2019 that need your attention. If you’re not on Twitter, or on Twitter and missed it, here you go.

 

It’s about the 2020 election, and what we’re facing, and why we need to vote anyway, no matter what fuckery and nonsense arises.

 

It’s in response to a June 29, 2019 thread by Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) on the same subject.

 

We’re cutting and pasting the tweets as they appeared. Below them you’ll find info about Erin and Milan.

 

Courtney Milan (@courtneymilan) kicks it off:

 

A thing that is weird to me is that the Republicans seem to understand how the Democrats win elections, but the Democrats don’t.

 

See, it’s actually very simple: high turn out favors the Democrats. The higher the turn out, the better it is for the Democrats.

 

That’s why the entire Republican playbook is about disenfranchising and setting up stumbling blocks. Yes, some of those stumbling block differential hurt Democrats, but basically, all stumbling blocks hurt Democrats.

 

But the *spoken* words of Republicans and Democrats alike suggest that Democrats lose elections because they don’t convince enough Republicans, and that’s simply not true. Democrats don’t win elections because US voter turn out is abysmally low.

 

And so there’s this game that the media plays—and that Democrats play—and that the GOP plays—where we act like the election will be decided by three coal miners, the same three, every year. When the election will be decided by turn out.

 

If we care about electability, the question we need to be asking ourselves is: Which candidate is going to maximize turnout? Not: which candidate is going to convince three coal miners?

 

If it were easy to vote, we wouldn’t have any red states. We’d have a lot of deep blue states, some light blue states, and a handful of purple ones that would oscillate from year to year.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why the US is so different than their est of the world and—after looking at public opinion polls—I’m actually convinced that our population actually isn’t substantially more conservative than the rest of the world.

 

The issue we have is that a lot less of our population votes, and even if you consider only the voting population, our system is set up to magnify the votes of some segments of the population and to squelch the votes of others.

 

The truth of the matter is that if Democrats could enact laws that permanently got voter turnout to around 80%, the Republican party (at least in its current form) would case to exist in two to three election cycles.

 

 

Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) responds with her own thread:

 

We are not headed for a fair election. Not anything close to one. Probably the worst of my lifetime. Doesn’t mean we can’t win it. We definitely won’t if we don’t try, though, and that’s what the GOP counts on.

 

And this is the thing! This thing is the thing. The thing, it is this. For all that Bret Stephens talks about “ordinary people” like they’re red state racist rust belters, these guys *know* that this country skews blue and at least likes to think of itself as decent. [She’s referring to a late June 2019 Op-Ed in the New York Times.]

 

They know that “ordinary people” have some empathy and recoil from raw cruelty (when it’s not made palatable to them somehow).

 

And so while the digital arm of Trump’s campaign of despair does use incredibly sensitive data targeting, the everyday “ops” are far more broadly targeted.

 

The fewer people who vote, the more easily they can control the outcome. The fewer people who vote, the more the people they *prevent* from voting count, the more any votes that get changed count, the more their own votes count.

 

There is not a solid red state in this country. Whatever state you’re thinking of… nope. It’s got deep blue pockets and every election it could be a serious battlefield. They use gerrymandering and voter suppression to change that…

 

…and use psychological ops to obscure that this is what they’re doing. Call something a red state and half of us are ready to abandon it, even if they’re holding onto it by their fingernails. By the skin of their teeth.

 

The more people here in the US vote, the more progressive candidates and policies will win. If we can internalize that, if we can mobilize on that, if we can use that… then we can win so hard the GOP dies. And then let people choose between different visions of progress.

 

 

Follow Courtney Milan on Twitter:

@courtneymilan

 

See Milan’s website:

http://www.courtneymilan.com

 

See her blog:

http://www.courtneymilan.com/ramblings/

 

 

 

Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter:

@alexandraerin

 

Read her blog here:

http://www.alexandraerin.com

 

Support her here:

https://www.patreon.com/AlexandraErin

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=3OEHAVn8SOrIky4-Et3gYMrIZxIW5Z1nOQZWj5CqEvnfzABpi01GyKbzHqSgZeI3xxfLxG

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Attend a Lights for Liberty Protest Near You on Friday, July 12

Attend a Lights for Liberty protest near you on Friday, July 12.

 

The protest’s full name is Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. Events that draw attention to the crisis created by the camps and by the Trump administration’s policies are planned across America and the world.

 

Because these protests are vigils, most events will take place at night, and many will take place near facilities that are holding migrants.

 

Events are being added all the time. We’re dropping the direct link to the event list here but will repeat it below.

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

If you can go, please consider inviting friends and family to come with you. You have power, and now is the time to use it.

 

If you can’t go, and you have experience with caring for children, consider offering to babysit for other protestors.

 

You can also boost #LightsforLiberty on social media, buy Lights for Liberty merch, and donate to the organizers.

 

Main website for Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org

 

List of Lights for Liberty local events:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

Link to the form through which you can create your own Lights for Liberty event (please scroll down; please remember to obtain any permissions or permits you might need; and please choose an area that’s accessible to the disabled):

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

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!

 

Donate to Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/donate-index-impact

 

Purchase Lights for Liberty merch:

https://shop.spreadshirt.com/lights-for-liberty/

 

Like the Lights for Liberty Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lights4liberty/

 

Follow Lights for Liberty on Twitter:

@Lights4Liberty

Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Thank You Actions · Vote with your Dollars

Support José Andrés, The Chef Who Served Millions of Meals to Puerto Ricans, and Who Stood Up to Trump

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Support José Andrés, the chef who cooked and served millions of meals to hurricane-stricken Puerto Ricans and who stood up to Donald Trump.

 

Andrés is a hell of a chef, period, full stop.

As of November 2017, he holds two Michelin stars. In 2011, the James Beard Foundation gave him its Outstanding Chef award; past winners include Tom Colicchio of Craft, Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin, Grant Achatz of Alinea, Lidia Bastianich of Felidia Ristorante, Wolfgang Puck of Spago Beverly Hills, Jean-George Vongerichten of Jean-Georges, and Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. Andrés is also credited with introducing America to the concept of tapas.

 

His nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, came to Puerto Rico on September 25, 2017 to help feed residents in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

 

By mid-October, the team had built a supply network and prepped and delivered more than a million hot meals. Andrés has broadcast his efforts via his Twitter account and through the #chefsforpuertorico hashtag. He had started to curtail WCK’s efforts by late October, but he has continued to shine a light on the realities of post-Maria life in Puerto Rico on his social media accounts.

 

Before he stepped up in such an extraordinary way in Puerto Rico, he stood up to Donald Trump, at great personal cost to himself.

 

When Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015 by claiming that Mexican immigrants were drug dealers and rapists, Andrés withdrew from a deal to create a grand new restaurant in the Trump hotel planned for the old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. (Andrés was born in Spain and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.) Trump sued for breach of contract, and the two parties settled in April 2017.

 

According to the Washington Post, Andrés said at the time of his withdrawal from the Trump Washington D.C. restaurant deal:

“More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests,” the chef said in a statement at the time. “And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.”

 

We at OTYCD encourage you to support Andrés and his charitable works however you can.

 

Andrés’s empire includes 27 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as food trucks and catering services. Are any of them near you? Check the link below and pay a visit, and vote with your dollars:

http://www.joseandres.com/en_us/restaurants

 

 

Follow Andrés on Twitter:

@chefjoseandres

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/chefjoseandres/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

 

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!

 

 

Visit the World Central Kitchen webpage:

https://www.worldcentralkitchen.org

 

 

Donate to World Central Kitchen:

https://www.worldcentralkitchen.org/donate

 

 

Read about World Central Kitchen’s and #chefsforpuertorico’s work on the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/10/20/559113161/celebrity-chef-jose-andres-has-served-nearly-1-5-million-meals-to-puerto-ricans

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/09/29/jose-andres-a-naturalized-u-s-citizen-has-become-the-face-of-american-disaster-relief/?utm_term=.809d93237d83

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/10/18/post-maria-jose-andres-and-his-team-have-served-more-meals-in-puerto-rico-than-the-red-cross/?utm_term=.08529f34dd69

http://time.com/4981655/jose-andres-fema-trump-puerto-rico/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/adriancarrasquillo/chef-jose-andres-and-the-trump-administration-are-fighting?utm_term=.nlNBa7E5eg#.oapoLBpy94

https://www.eater.com/2017/10/25/16545754/jose-andres-puerto-rico-world-central-kitchen

Read about how the chef quit his partnership with Trump after he disparaged Mexicans, and read about the settlement of the resulting lawsuit:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2016/04/29/donald-trump-jose-andres-and-the-death-of-a-grand-washington-restaurant/?utm_term=.fc73d4f45799

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2017/04/07/president-trump-and-chef-jose-andres-reach-settlement-agreement/?utm_term=.ed2172cdc09f

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/donald-trump-and-celebrity-chef-jose-andres-settle-their-lawsuit/2017/04/07/987c5cae-1bbd-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?utm_term=.3953339addc6

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/07/523004201/trump-organization-settles-lawsuit-with-chef-jos-andr-s

 

Candidates · Community Activism · Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Emerge America, Which Trains Democratic Women Candidates to Run for Office

This OTYCD post originally ran in May 2018.

 

Support Emerge America, which trains Democratic women candidates to run for office.

 

Founded in California in 2002, Emerge America now has outposts in 24 states, and has hopes to expand to all 50. Its aim is to increase the number of Democratic women who hold office in America by recruiting them, training them, and building a network of them.

 

Emerge America offers a 70-hour training program, spread over six months (one weekend per month), which covers vital topics such as campaign strategy, public speaking, fundraising, endorsements, mastering new media, field operations, ethics, networking, and more.

 

Their work is starting to pay off. In 2016, the win rate for Emerge America alumnae was 70 percent. In November 2017, it was 73 percent.

 

 

See the Emerge America webpage:

https://emerge.ngpvanhost.com

 

 

Learn about its training program:

https://emerge.ngpvanhost.com/training

 

 

See if your state is among the 24 that has Emerge America chapters, or among the five in development:

https://emerge.ngpvanhost.com/states

 

 

Donate to Emerge America:

https://emerge.ngpvanhost.com/contribute

 

 

Like Emerge America on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/EmergeAmerica

 

 

Follow Emerge America on Twitter:

@EmergeAmerica

 

 

Read a Washington Post story about a post-Trump class of Emerge America graduates:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/this-group-trains-women-to-run-for-office-heres-how-one-outraged-post-trump-class-fared/2018/02/12/d9de3d02-020d-11e8-bb03-722769454f82_story.html?utm_term=.dc20866b4866

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Health Care · Public Education · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Say You’re a Health Care Voter

Sick of the attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare, and Medicaid? Step up and declare you are a Health Care Voter.

 

We at OTYCD spent a good chunk of 2017 rallying you to call your MoCs and urge them to fight Trumpcare, Trumpcare 2.0, Trumpcare 3.whatever, and the GOP tax bill, which contained provisions that weaken the ACA.

 

We also encouraged you to urge your MoCs to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which the GOP-controlled Congress allowed to lapse for months.

 

And we have asked you to remain alert to attacks on Medicare and Medicaid, which might come this year at the behest of GOP ghouls who will demand cuts to social programs now that they voted to add $1.5 million to the deficit by giving the most wealthy people and corporations a huge, entirely unnecessary tax cut.

 

The Health Care Voter campaign is a project co-chaired by Alyssa Milano, Topher Spiro, and others. It is an effort to encourage more than 1 million people to take the Health Care Voter pledge and promote the idea to friends and family in person and on social media.

 

In general, Health Care Voters fight against attacks on the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and other government-funded programs and services that help the sick and help keep us all healthy.

 

Health Care Voters believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and they pledge to vote their values by supporting candidates who defend these programs and voting out those who don’t.

 

 

See the Health Care Voter website and take the Health Care Voter pledge:

https://healthcarevoter.org

 

 

Read stories from committed Health Care Voters that explain why they took the pledge:

https://healthcarevoter.org/#health-care-voters-in-action

 

 

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!

 

 

Follow the Health Care Voter project on Twitter:

@HealthCareVoter

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/healthcarevoter

 

 

Buy Health Care Voter merch:

Health Care Voter Shop

 

 

Follow expert Topher Spiro, Health Care Voter co-chair, on Twitter:

@TopherSpiro

 

 

Follow actress Alyssa Milano, Health Care Voter co-chair, on Twitter:

@Alyssa_Milano

 

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

 

Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.

 

In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:

 

Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.

 

If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.

 

You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.

 

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!

 

 

Action Alerts · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Believe It: You Matter, Part VII: You’ve Got To Stay Here and Carry On The Fight

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018.

 

Believe it, you matter: The meaning of ‘You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.’

 

Sarah Jane here.

 

Every now and again you’ll see me slip a line into a post:

 

“You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.”

 

It’s a paraphrase of a line in the 1981 film Time Bandits.

 

It comes from a scene toward the end, when (spoiler alert) God (yes, that one) comes to collect the Time Bandits and take them back with him, where they will pay penance for stealing God’s map and traveling through time to commit robberies by serving in lowly jobs with a pay cut back-dated to the beginning of time.

 

One of the Time Bandits asks if Kevin, the young mortal boy who joined them on their travels, can come along to what God calls creation:

 

What about my friend, sir? Can he come with us?

No, of course not. This isn’t a school outing.

But sir, he deserves something. I mean, without him–

Oh. don’t go on about it. He’s got to stay here to carry on the fight.

 

 

The line is mysterious, and deliberately so.

 

The film ends soon after, with Kevin still the age of a preteen boy.

 

We never learn any more about the nature of the fight God mentions, or why Kevin is the one who needs to fight, and what God might mean when he says that Kevin needs to stay back on Earth and carry on the fight.

 

When things feel extra bad and weird and hopeless and miserable, I think back to this line from one of my favorite films, and I imagine I’m Kevin.

 

No matter what happens, I’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight until I can’t fight any longer, or until an impeccably dressed Ralph Richardson and six ragged-looking little thieves show up to spirit me away.

 

I’d prefer the latter way to go, for what it’s worth.

 

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