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

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.

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Join a Vigil to Confront Corruption and Demand Democracy on July 18, 2018

Join a vigil to Confront Corruption at sundown on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.


This event was planned before Monday’s Helsinki summit, and before Trump revealed himself to be so clearly under the control of Vladimir Putin.


We’re cheating a little by putting out two posts today–the now-standard weekly post demanding that Trump actually enforce and support sanctions against Russia (by which we mean earlier ones that passed Congress 530-5 in a bill that Trump signed but has pretty much ignored, not the fresh round of sanctions citizens are asking for in the wake of Helsinki).


As of the night of Monday July 16, 2018, citizens began gathering in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., to protest Trump’s horrific performance and demand that he go.


Those outside D.C. who are hungry to display their disgust have helped spread the word about this protest, which is a joint effort of dozens of groups, including MoveOn, March for Truth, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Stand Up America, Lawyers for Good Governance, and more.



Find a vigil near you by typing your zip code into this search engine:



See the main Confront Corruption and Defend Democracy page:



See its About page:



Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your Senators and Demand That They Vote NO on Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Nominee for SCOTUS

Call your senators and demand that they vote NO on Brett Kavanaugh, Team Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.


First, an apology from Sarah Jane: I meant to write and queue this earlier, closer to when the nominee was named. Life and work deadlines got in the way. I can only apologize and repeat the fact that OTYCD is a part-time endeavor. Thanks for your patience.


Anyway. We know who the nominee is now, and his judicial record is as noxious as you’d expect, given that he passed muster with The Federalist Society.


We need to push back.


The fight will be hard, but not impossible. And the fight will definitely be impossible if we don’t bother to fight at all.


Your Senators need to hear from you, and you need to be firm and clear. (And polite.)


So! Call your two Senators and tell them you want them to oppose Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination. Then call friends and family across the country and ask them to do the same. And keep calling as new developments emerge about Kavanaugh and his views. (We at OTYCD expect to devote future posts to this issue.)


Remember: Loud, fierce, sustained protests against Trumpcare and Trumpcare 2.0 made them fail. It was the folks who called, texted, left voicemails, and showed up to protest who made the difference. If we can make loud, fierce, sustained protests against Kavanaugh, we could sink his nomination.


Check the link below to see if either of your Senators are on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee. If they are, it is extra-important that you call. Bonus points if you do this on behalf of friends and family and update them on their own Senators.


Before you call, you should check the social media feeds of your Senators and see if they’ve issued a statement on Kavanaugh.


If they’ve already agreed to vote no, thank them for that.


If they’ve already agreed to vote yes, urge them to change their vote.


Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) got there first with great scripts on this topic. The trio you see below are a) a script supporting the McConnell rule, updated to reflect the name of the SCOTUS nominee; b) a simple ‘No on Kavanaugh’ script; and c) talking points you can use to expand on the main scripts.


Please scroll down to learn how you can support Celeste Pewter’s work.


Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded

script above.


You can follow her on Twitter:



You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using

the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends

and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:


Subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:


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 · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your MoCs and Demand That Trump Cancel His One-on-One Helsinki Meeting With Putin

Call your MoCs and demand that Trump cancel his one-on-one meeting in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin, which is set for Monday July 16, 2018.


Normally we at OTYCD don’t ask you to call your MoCs on weekends. We do this because we often ask you to call them during the week. Also, while you can call your MoCs on the weekends, their offices might not be staffed. You can, and should, leave a voicemail, but calling on weekdays raises the odds of getting a live person.


We’re making an exception to support the #CancelHelsinki movement.


Folks had been pushing to get Trump to pull out of the one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, because Trump says it’d be just him and the Russian–no interpreters, no note-takers, no other witnesses.


This is an Exceptionally Bad Idea.


This is an Even Worse Idea in the wake of the Friday announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ), indicting twelve Russian hackers for interfering with the 2016 presidential election by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.


If you want to refresh yourself on the news, read this Washington Post piece:


The larger point: The meeting is set for Monday. If you’re going to meaningfully oppose it, you need to call over the weekend.


You won’t be shocked to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) is already on it. She’s composed a script which we will reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to support her and her work (which you should, early and often).


Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above.


You can follow her on Twitter:



You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:


Subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:


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 · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Escape Your Bubble · Postcard Campaigns · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

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

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):



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:



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



Also encourage them to visit 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:



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



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.





Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.


Start a slow, quiet campaign to identify your friends who didn’t vote for president last November, and cultivate them with an eye toward getting them to the polls in 2018 and 2020.


One of the more shocking facts from the 2016 election was how few people voted. According to numbers from the United States Election Project, 59.3 percent of eligible voters turned out and cast a ballot for the president. (60 percent showed up and voted for something; the 0.7 percent gap represents people who voted but did not vote for president.)


That’s stupid-crazy low for an advanced democracy like America’s. Pitiable, in fact. Yet it’s actually a better turnout than 2012, which tallied 58.6 percent of eligible voters, and it might be the best electoral turnout recorded between 1972 and 2000.


Voter turnout needs to improve. Two out of five eligible voters stayed home. If more of those abstainers had come out, we might not be in the mess we’re in today. If you’re mad at Clinton’s narrow loss to Trump, don’t vent your rage on people who voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson–at least they went to the polls. Point your ire at the 40 percent of voters who never made it.


Ok, we’re joking about that–don’t actually get mad at them. At least some wanted to cast a ballot, but could not. That said, we’re on watch for articles that explain why people who can vote don’t vote, and why they say they chose to stay home in 2016. When we find them, we’ll post about them.


Here’s what we know right now. According to 538, voters who stayed home in 2016 probably cost Clinton the election:


In particular, turnout was low among young people (aged 18-29) and non-whites.


The silver lining to this? We know that Democratic-leaning and left-leaning people were less likely to go to the polls. You, personally, can help fix that.


Think about your friends. Do you know who among them did not vote? The math says that you probably have at least some non-voters in your midst. Maybe more than 60 percent of your friends voted, but not all of them.


If you know which of your friends did not vote, look for opportunities to discuss it with them. Don’t do this in a punitive way! Simply ask if they voted, and if they say no, ask why. Keep your tone of voice neutral.


If it’s something as simple as not being registered, or not having a ride to the polls, do what you can to remove those obstacles. The web site below will tell your friend if they’re registered to vote in their state:


If they are not registered, do what you can to help them register. If they would have voted if they had had transportation to the polls, make plans for 2018–see if you can give them a ride personally, or arrange for a cab.


If they had other reasons for not voting–they don’t think their vote matters, they didn’t like the candidates, they don’t trust the system, etc.–just keep talking to them. Don’t always talk politics–see to it that about 80 percent of the time, you talk about something else. And when you do talk politics, only occasionally talk about voting.


Build and strengthen your relationship with your non-voting friends with an eye on the coming 2018 race, and with the hopes of enticing those people to come with you to vote in the midterms.



See the full 2016 election numbers, compiled by the United States Election Project. It includes grand totals and state-by-state breakdowns:



Bookmark this page from the ElectProject site, which lists links to the boards of elections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (scroll down a bit):



See a 2012 piece on 538 that gives numbers on the 2012 turnout:



Follow professor Michael P McDonald, the polysci guy behind the United States Election Project, on Twitter:




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 · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Give Blood to Fight the Summer Slowdown in Donations

Please donate blood before and during the summer months, a time when donations tend to fall off sharply.


The Red Cross always needs donations of blood and platelets, but things get worse in the summer months, when schedules are disrupted by vacations and blood drives at high schools and colleges are not an option.


If you are a regular donor, please plan vacations with your donation schedule in mind, and try to recruit a friend or two to come and donate with you during the summer.


If it’s been a while since you gave, think about how and when to work a blood drive into your summer plans.


If you have never donated, find out if you are eligible, and consider whether it is something you feel you can do.



Find the Red Cross blood drive happening closest to you:



Read about how blood and platelet donations tend to drop severely–losing as many as 100,000–during the summer:



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!