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!

 

 

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Read, Memorize, and Act on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 10 Ways to Fight Hate

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

 

Read, memorize, and act on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s piece, 10 Ways to Fight Hate.

 

Posted after the events of Charlottesville, the SPLC piece gives you ten things you can do to resist the cultural changes that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are trying to create with the passive, if not sometimes active, help of Trump and his administration.

 

The full list is:

Act

Join Forces

Support the Victims

Speak Up

Educate Yourself

Create an Alternative

Pressure Leaders

Stay Engaged

Teach Acceptance

Dig Deeper

 

The most important thing is to act–to do something, to not sit mute in the face of hate. The SPLC put “act” first on the list for a reason. Silence reads as compliance and even approval to those who want to advance hate and intolerance. You have to say or do something when it shows its face to you.

 

If you are white, it is double-super-extra-mega-important for you to act. People of color and minorities have been carrying the burden of pushing back for too long. It is on white people to wield their privilege like a weapon for dismantling this corrosive bullshit.

 

You cannot stand by and assume someone else will pick up the slack. It is on you to do something. It is always on you to do something. Always. 

 

Know also that the Nazis did not stop until they were stop. Remember appeasement? Think of how we remember Neville Chamberlain? Yeah, don’t be Neville Chamberlain. You lose now AND you lose later.

 

The only way you win when dealing with Nazis, fascists, and those who would carry their banners is to stop them right away. Give them no quarter and no comfort. Shut them down, just like the people of Boston shut down the so-called Free Speech Rally on August 19, when at least 20,000 anti-racist protestors showed up to find 20 neo-Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists.

 

Read the SPLC’s Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide:

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

 

Donate to the SPLC:

https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter

 

Follow the SPLC on Twitter:

@splcenter

 

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 · Health Care · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Commit to the Long Haul, Because We Need You, Yes, You, to Help Un-Bork the Country

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Commit yourself to the long haul, because that’s what’s needed to un-bork the country. 

Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough and bewildering, and not just because Trump won. It was tough because many of us were shocked to discover that the Democrats—the opposition party—was weak and in piss-poor shape to reign in Trump and his minions.

All this was made exponentially worse by the behavior of the Republicans, who have consistently favored their party over the greater good of the country since the current Congressional session began.

Let’s be painfully honest. There’s only so much the Democrats can do when the Republicans own everything and show no interest in fulfilling their obligation to check Trump’s power. The Democrats are trying, and in many cases, trying valiantly to curb the worst excesses, but the Republicans hold all the cards right now (in 2017).

Do not lose sight of the fact that the Democrats are stepping up, and the Republicans are not.

Trump will leave eventually. We won’t take bets on when. But never forget that this does not end when he’s gone. In the immortal words of God, speaking at the end of the classic film Time Bandits (which you really need to see if you haven’t yet): You need to stay here and carry on the fight.

The good news of the 115th Congress, such as it is, is that sitting Congressional Republicans are showing us who they are–unfit to govern, and incapable of governing.

We need to remember this, take down their names, and work to remove members of Congress who rolled over and surrendered to Trump. We need to work to elect Democrats, and we also need to work to elect Republicans who are sane and responsible.

Yes, you read that right. You need to work sane, responsible members of the opposition party, too.

One of the big reasons this country is borked right now is that we’re polarized. We used to be able to tolerate, and even befriend, people who disagreed with us on key issues. Somehow, without any of us really noticing, too many of us lost this talent.

You can argue about the hows and the whys, but it’s a fact. One of the ways to fix it is to go out and befriend people who don’t think like you all the time, on everything, but who are responsible and sane and have backbones.

You’re probably thinking by now, “Yeah, but what one thing are you asking me to do?” Fair enough.

Read this past post about recruiting friends in red states to call their MoCs:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/04/01/recruit-your-red-state-friends-to-call-their-mocs-2/

Pay attention to the bits about cultivating friendships. Get to work, if you haven’t yet. Build up your network so you can support your red state friends during elections and perhaps help them ID and support sane Republicans (assuming the Democrats are feckless or the Republican candidate is actually better).

And be on watch for future posts about sane Republicans, and consider following those folks on SoMe.

In addition, look at your state and local reps. Do you see any sane Republicans? Keep tabs on them. Maybe support them. Certainly support them if their Democratic counterpart is feckless or worse.

Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Help Someone Who Regrets Voting for Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in February 2017.

 

You might know people who voted for Donald Trump. A good number of them are feeling remorse right now, and at least some of them might have said as much in front of you.

 

If you’re up for it, you can help your friends who voted for Trump and want to do something to push back.

 

If a regretful Trump voter opens up to you, don’t unleash your anger at them. Do not mock them. Do not try to make them feel bad or humiliate them. You will only make them double down on their choice, and you will lose them.

 

Instead ask, “Are you ready to do something about it?”

 

If the answer is “No,” or something along the lines of “I’m not sure,” back off immediately and completely. Do not hard-sell this, but you can bring it up again after a few weeks if they give you a natural opening when you’re talking casually.

 

If the answer is “Yes,” or “I think so,” ask them to use this web site to find their members of Congress (it will also give them their state representatives as well):

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/

 

And ask them to download and read Call the Halls:

https://www.emilyellsworth.com/how-to-contact-congress/

 

Recommend that they get in the habit of calling their members of Congress to complain about this or that thing Trump just did, and asking their reps to fight back against it.

 

Explain to your friends that all Executive Orders are subject to Congressional approval, and can be nullified. If Trump signs something that your regretful friends don’t like, tell them that they can call their MoCs and ask them to make a law that stops the EO.

 

If it makes sense, give them this link to Vice‘s running tally of all the executive orders and laws that Trump has signed in 2017. They should find something here that they won’t like (make sure to tell them to take down the name and number of the document that’s bothering them) and would feel comfortable calling their MoCs for.

 

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/all-the-laws-and-executive-orders-trump-has-signed-so-far

 

If you have a better idea of how your friends’ politics shake out, THEN maybe direct them to http://www.onethingyoucando.com or other resources that they might perceive as being left-wing or liberal-leaning.

 

When getting a regretful Trump voter started, it’s best to stick with Emily Ellsworth’s Call the Halls because it is a straightforward, nonpartisan resource and its author is a Republican from Utah.

 

Going forward, remain available to your friends. Don’t jump in to talk; focus on listening to them. Pay close attention to what they say so you can remember and suggest future actions that they could take to push back against Trump. Keep the focus on them and their needs.

 

If your conversations with regretful Trump voters rile you up or piss you off, bite it back as best you can. If you hit your limit, find a way to change the subject. If you can’t take any more and your friend won’t quit it, excuse yourself from the situation. It is important that you don’t show anger or contempt for Trump voters in front of your regretful friends. That could cause them to double down.

 

Also keep in mind that you should only do as much as you’re willing to do, and it is acceptable to do nothing. If you don’t think you can talk to regretful Trump-voting friends without snapping or shredding them, then don’t talk to them about this issue, and deflect any attempts to lure you in.

 

Going through the actions suggested above–responding to an ‘I think so’ or a ‘Yes’ with the web site resources–and then doing no followup of any kind whatsoever with your regretful friends is also OK. You planted the seeds. Sometimes that’s enough, and nature takes care of the rest.

 

The most important thing is to think through what you would do in this situation, figure out how much you are willing to do, and then stick to your plan.

 

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 · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

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.

 

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!

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

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

 

 

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!