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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Wear Orange On June 7 For National Gun Violence Awareness Day

This OTYCD piece originally ran in May 2018. It has been updated for 2019.

 

Plan to wear orange on June 7 to support National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and see if there’s a Wear Orange Weekend event near you.

 

The Wear Orange movement is an effort championed by Everytown for Gun Safety, but not started by it. The movement began with those who mourned the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed in Chicago in 2013 one week after she participated in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. They donned orange in her honor, and orange became the color of the anti-gun violence movement.

 

Several #WearOrange events have been planned across the country to raise awareness about gun violence and demand a safer world. They include parades, barbecues, rallies, marches, and more.

 

To find an event near you, enter your zip code into the search engine at this link:

https://wearorange.org

 

 

 

And of course you can follow the #WearOrange hashtag on social media.

 

 

See the Wear Orange homepage:

https://wearorange.org

 

 

See the Wear Orange About page:

https://wearorange.org/about/

 

 

Buy merch in the Wear Orange shop:

Wear Orange Collection

 

 

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Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and Typically Republican Voters Who Plan to Vote for Democrats In 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 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.

 

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and typically Republican voters who plan to vote for Democrats in 2018.

 

We live in weird times. We have a manifestly unfit person sitting in the Oval Office. The second that Trump finished the oath of office on Inauguration Day 2017, his business entanglements put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, making him impeachable.

 

Still more evidence for impeachment has piled up since then, but the Republican-controlled Congress hasn’t started to begin to consider thinking about bestirring itself to do its job and remove Trump from office.

 

Once upon a time, Republicans did the right thing and threatened President Richard Nixon with impeachment over the Watergate scandal, prompting him to resign. Today, tribalism is stopping the Republicans from doing the right thing with Donald Trump. It’s shameful. History will judge them harshly for it, and so will voters.

 

Some Alabamians who normally vote Republican realized that staying home would not be enough during the December 2017 special election for Senate. Some–admittedly a minority–went to the polls and voted Democrat for the first time in their lives to do their bit to stop Republican Roy Moore from winning.

 

People across the country who don’t normally vote for Democrats are coming to the same conclusion that Republicans in Alabama did. They’re watching Trump’s antics, and watching Congress do nothing, and realizing they have to act by voting for candidates who will do what their party will not.

 

They’re starting to speak up publicly as well. Consider this March 2018 piece from The Atlantic, by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, of Lawfare, who both describe themselves as “true independents”. Bluntly titled Boycott the Republican Party, it counsels Americans to methodically vote for Democrats to send a message to the GOP in hopes of getting it to straighten up and fly right (pun not intended):

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

Key quote:

“So we arrive at a syllogism:

(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

If the syllogism holds, then the most-important tasks in U.S. politics right now are to change the Republicans’ trajectory and to deprive them of power in the meantime. In our two-party system, the surest way to accomplish these things is to support the other party, in every race from president to dogcatcher. The goal is to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.”

 

On June 7, 2018, the Washington Post reported on a poll that shows that around a quarter of Republicans favor candidates who will act as a check on Trump.

Here’s the piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

And here’s the key passage:

“Perhaps the most interesting part of this poll, though, is that more than a quarter of Republicans want candidates who will act as a check on Trump. On net, Republicans were 11 points more likely to say that they would be turned off by a candidate acting as a check on Trump, but it’s still the case that 27 percent would be encouraged to vote for a candidate willing to check Trump. That even as Republicans support candidates who support Trump on policy issues. By more than 60 percentage points, Republicans are more likely to support candidates that stand with Trump on taxes and immigration. But they’re nearly split on candidates who stand up to Trump generally.”

 

And since we at OTYCD drafted and queued this piece, more longtime GOP supporters have publicly defected and called for others to join them.

 

Steve Schmidt, a high-ranking GOP strategist who helped elect George W. Bush, worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign in California, quit the party. On June 19, 2018, he tweeted (and it’s now his pinned tweet):

29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.

 

Read stories on Schmidt quitting the Republican Party:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veteran-republican-strategist-steve-schmidt-renounces-gop/2018/06/20/7bcf53fe-74c7-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.872cc10a5f60

https://www.yahoo.com/news/steve-schmidt-helped-run-republican-212844307.html

 

 

On June 22, 2018, prominent conservative George Will, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977, put out a blunt column installment in the Washington Post titled Vote Against the GOP This November.

 

He hasn’t decided he likes the Democrats. He doesn’t, and he won’t. His call to vote Democrat this fall is intended as the corrective Trump needs, and which the GOP-controlled Congress has been too feckless to give. Here’s the final paragraph from the piece:

 

“In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.”

 

 

Read Will’s full column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/vote-against-the-gop-this-november/2018/06/22/a6378306-7575-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?utm_term=.97ccad43bccf

 

 

This is where you come in.

 

If you know someone who doesn’t normally vote for Democrats, but who gets that they must in 2018 in order to right the GOP and provide a check on Trump, you need to be welcoming and gracious toward them.

 

In other words, don’t be an asshole, and be extra-careful not to come off as an asshole to these people.

 

Don’t assume they’ve gone all liberal and progressive because they’re going to vote for Democrats this fall. They haven’t.

 

Respect the fact that these folks wouldn’t vote this way under normal circumstances.

 

Respect the fact that they think differently about politics than you, and respect the fact that they’re doing what needs to be done for the sake of our country, and our democracy.

 

Also, keep your interactions pleasant and fun. Don’t bring up politics unless they do, and if they do bring up politics, let them lead the conversation. Be supportive. Commiserate.

 

After Labor Day, start talking about plans to go to the polls together. Offer a ride. Offer to have lunch or buy a drink after you both vote. If it makes sense, offer child care or offer to cover a shift for your friend if it will help them reach the polls on November 6, 2018.

 

Also, do not say “Thank you”. Seriously. It’s not appropriate because it could be read as insulting.

 

Think about it–should you get a cookie for stepping up and blocking a wannabe dictator from destroying our democracy? No, it’s the right thing to do. If someone has decided it’s time to cast a punitive vote against their home party, they would definitely be offended at the notion that they deserve praise for doing it.

 

Instead, you can say, “I look forward to the days when we can go back to disagreeing with each other.”

 

If you want to show lasting gratitude to those who don’t normally vote for Democrats, but are doing so to send a message to the GOP, you can do this:

 

You can promise to listen to them.

 

Not just now, in the breach, but going forward, too.

 

Listening to them does not mean agreeing with them. It does mean making a good-faith effort to hear out those who don’t share your view of politics, and trying to understand them.

 

 

Here, again is the March 2018 piece from The Atlantic that urges Republicans to boycott the GOP and vote for Democrats:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

 

And here, again, is the June 2018 Washington Post story on the poll on what sort of candidates Americans are likely to support in the midterms. In addition to 25 percent of Republicans favoring candidates who would provide a check on Trump, the story says that voters, in general, were 25 percentage points more likely to vote for a candidate who promised to push back against the president:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

 

Read December 2017 stories from Newsweek and the Washington Post on how Republican affiliation has fallen by five points since Trump was elected:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-scaring-voters-republican-affiliation-dips-year-election-poll-730604

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/11/a-lot-of-americans-spent-2017-bailing-on-the-republican-party/?utm_term=.d6e51e7a9cc0

 

 

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GOOD UPDATE! Gil Cisneros WON His Race for the House Seat in California’s 39th District

Update March 24, 2019: YES YES YES! Democrat Gil Cisneros defeated Republican Young Kim for the House seat vacated by Republican Ed Royce. Cisneros pulled in 51.6 percent of the vote to Kim’s 48.4 percent.

 

Cisneros faces re-election in 2020. Please consider him for your next Core Four.

 

Original text of the post follows.

 

Support Democrat Gil Cisneros, who’s running for the House of Representatives seat in California’s 39th District that Republican Ed Royce is leaving.

 

To flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control, the party needs to win at least 24 seats in the fall elections that are currently Republican.

 

California offers many opportunities for Democratic pickups–at least eight. The 39th District is one of them. Ed Royce, a particularly noxious Republican who held the Orange County seat for the last 26 years has announced he would retire.

 

Cisneros came second in a very crowded June 5 primary. California uses a top-two system where the two candidates who get the most votes advance to the general, no matter what party they’re from. He beat 15 other candidates to earn the right to compete.

 

The only person who got more votes than him, the Royce-endorsed Young Kim, drew almost 22 percent of the vote to Cisneros’s 19.3 percent.

 

The California 39th seat is gettable. The Cook Political Report rates it as a Toss-up.

 

Please learn about Cisneros and see if he is someone you can support.

 

 

See Cisneros’s campaign site:

https://cisnerosforcongress.com

 

 

See his Meet Gil page:

https://cisnerosforcongress.com/meet-gil/

 

 

See his Issues page, which includes sections on health care for all, getting corporate money out of politics, and holding President Trump accountable:

https://cisnerosforcongress.com/gilsplan/

 

 

Donate to Cisneros’s campaign:

https://secure.ngpvan.com/cS9iYUBauE2-Znc9wKbzkA2

 

 

Choose Cisneros for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/GilCisnerosCA/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@GilCisnerosCA

 

 

Read a July 2017 Los Angeles Times piece about Cisneros’s entry into the race, in which he mentions that he left the Republican Party in 2008 because he didn’t like the direction in which the party was going:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-ed-royce-challenger-gil-1500080377-htmlstory.html

 

 

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 stories about Ed Royce’s retirement from Congress:

http://www.anaheimblog.net/2018/01/10/veteran-rep-ed-royce-wont-run-for-re-election/

https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/08/ed-royce-longtime-o-c-congressman-plans-to-retire/

 

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Learn to Help Friends and Family Who Want to Do More Than Register to Vote

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.

 

Learn to help friends and family who want to do more than just register to vote.

 

Sarah Jane here. We at OTYCD have encouraged you to talk to friends and family about voting, and make it as easy and as painless as possible for them to register, learn where their polling place is, and plot how they will physically get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

 

But what if they ask you about doing more than that? What if they’re excited, or concerned, or both about the direction the country is threatening to take, and they want to go beyond making sure they themselves are registered to vote?

 

May we humbly suggest you send them to this very blog?

 

 

Start by sending them to our page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do (we cheated, there’s actually four):

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

 

 

Also suggest they read the third entry in the Believe It: You Matter series, The Parable of Eating Less Meat. It’s about how activism is not a competition, and everything counts.

If you went from doing nothing to doing something, and you do that something consistently, you win. Doesn’t matter how big or small the something is.

Read Believe It: You Matter, Part III: The Parable Of Eating Less Meat:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/16/believe-it-you-matter-part-iii-the-parable-of-eating-less-meat/

 

 

And if you want to suggest that they subscribe to the blog, we won’t stop you.

 

 

Also encourage them to visit postcardstovoters.org and volunteer to write Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards, using their own supplies.

 

Of all the things I (Sarah Jane) have done to push back against Trump since November 2016, writing postcards to voters has been the most satisfying.

 

I can write postcards anytime Tony the Democrat and friends have a campaign going, which is almost always. (The few times when they’re between campaigns, I prep postcards for future campaigns by decorating them with rubber stamps.)

 

Writing postcards to voters doesn’t require knocking on doors, calling people, or otherwise approaching strangers, which is terrifying to an introvert like me.

 

Let’s be clear, though. I do all that stuff, too, and I recommend it, but writing postcards to voters is something I can do whenever I want, for as long as I want, and I can set it aside if need be. I call it my civic knitting–each postcard is a stitch that strengthens democracy.

 

Also? New research shows that hand-writing postcards to voters is just as effective at getting out the vote as canvassing (physically knocking on doors), and sometimes more effective.

 

For more, see this June 22, 2018 piece from Blue Virginia called The Mighty Pen Prevails: In the Digital Age, Handwritten Voter Contact Is a Powerful Secret Weapon:

https://bluevirginia.us/2018/06/the-mighty-pen-prevails-in-the-digital-age-handwritten-voter-contact-is-a-powerful-secret-weapon

 

 

If your friends and family are open to supporting candidates, point them to the OTYCD post on the Core Four Strategy:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Helping eager friends and family learn who’s running for election and re-election in 2018 and find candidates to support is pretty next-level, but if you have the time and energy to do it, we at OTYCD encourage you to follow through.

 

 

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!

 

 

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GOOD UPDATE! Harley Rouda Beat 15-Term (!) Republican Incumbent Dana Rohrbacher for a House Seat in California’s 48th District

Update, March 24, 2018: YES YES YES! Democrat Harley Rouda beat 15-term Republican incumbent and creepy Vladimir Putin fan Dana Rohrabacher for the House of Representatives seat in California’s 48th District.

 

As a member of the House, Rouda will be up for re-election in 2020. Please consider including him in your 2020 Core Four.

 

Original text of the 2018 post on Rouda’s campaign follows.

 

Support Democrat Harley Rouda’s campaign to win the House of Representatives seat in California’s 48th Congressional District and unseat Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

 

It was inevitable that the 2018 race in California’s 48th would command attention. Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher has held the seat since 1988 (that’s not a typo, you read that right, he’s been there almost 30 years) and he is widely seen as being in the pocket of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

 

This goes beyond an affinity for blinis and borscht.

 

In 2012, the FBI warned Rohrabacher that the Kremlin regards him as being so Russia-friendly that they gave him a code name:

 

 

In October 2017, news broke that House Republican leaders restricted his ability to use Congressional funds on travel because of his closeness to Russia:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-leaders-refusing-to-pay-for-dana-rohrabachers-travel-over-russia-fears

 

 

A June 2016 recording, which was subsequently heard and confirmed by Washington Post reporters, captured House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stating, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly stopped the conversation and swore everyone listening to secrecy.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-mccarthy-ryan-trump-putin-20170517-story.html

 

 

Politico wrote a November 23, 2016 story on Rohrabacher that bluntly calls him “Putin’s Favorite Congressman”:

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/putin-congress-rohrabacher-trump-231775

 

 

There’s enough there there that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly scrutinizing Rohrabacher as of November 2017:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/11/robert-mueller-dana-rohrabacher-russia-investigation

 

 

The good news is Rohrabacher’s entanglements with Russia have put his House seat in danger. Here are two stories on that theme, both from April 2018:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyone-is-painting-gop-congressman-dana-rohrabacher-as-putins-puppet

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-rohrabacher-gop-20180405-story.html

 

 

The Cook Political Report shows the trouble the Republican incumbent is in. It rates his seat as a Toss-up.

 

Democrats need to gain at least 24 seats in the House of Representatives to take control of the chamber. Those who know say that eight of those 24 could flip in California. The 48th is one of those eight.

 

After a ferociously fought June 5, 2018 top-two primary that included eight Democrats among 15 challengers for Rohrabacher’s seat, Harley Rouda took second place by 126 votes. (Thanks again for your efforts, Hans Keirstead.)

 

This seat is eminently gettable, and Rouda is raring to get it. Please look at the links below and see if you can support him. Rouda promises to be tougher on Russia than Rohrabacher is, but to be fair, it’s mathematically impossible not to be tougher on Russia than Rohrabacher is.

 

 

See Rouda’s campaign website:

https://harleyforcongress.com

 

 

See his About page:

https://harleyforcongress.com/about-harley/

 

 

See his Issues page:

https://harleyforcongress.com/issues/

 

 

 

Choose Rouda for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

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!

 

 

Donate to Rouda’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/rouda?refcode=www

 

 

Volunteer for Rouda:

https://harleyforcongress.com/volunteer/

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/HarleyforCongress/posts/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@HarleyRouda