Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Donate to Republican Bill Weld’s 2020 Campaign for President (Update May 2019)

Update: On April 15, 2019, Weld announced that he would indeed go ahead with a Republican primary challenge to Trump. As of May 11, no other Republicans have stepped up.

 

Donate to Republican Bill Weld’s 2020 campaign for president. 

 

Yes, we at OTYCD just asked you to consider giving money to a Republican. You read that right.

 

Regular readers won’t be surprised. We are, we remain, and we will always be in favor of SANE Republicans. Weld qualifies.

 

Bill Weld is a former governor of Massachusetts, and he ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2016 as the vice presidential candidate.

 

He has announced an exploratory committee for 2020, but he only says he’ll run if he gets enough donations to make a campaign worthwhile.

 

The GOP, craven cowards that they are, does not want Trump to face any challengers in the primary. Other Republicans have publicly mulled stepping up to challenge him, but none have done so as of March 2019.

 

Weld has stepped up, and he will not be scared off.

 

This should go without saying, but to be clear–asking you to consider giving money to Weld does not mean we at OTYCD endorse his platform or his worldview. Some of his positions suck like a Dyson showroom.

 

As Republicans go, he’s definitely one of the ones who suck less. He’s pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights, and in favor of legalizing marijuana. He also ran Massachusetts well for six years in the 1990s.

 

But, yeah, Weld likes stuff you don’t like, for sure, no question. He supports charter schools, and he wants to cut, cut, cut taxes like vampires want to drink blood.

 

If giving money to a Republican is a 100 percent always-and-forever no-go for you, understood, we get it. Go here or here instead today to get things you can do.

 

But if you can’t, or can’t bring yourself, to give money to Weld, consider educating yourself about him and supporting him by spreading the word about his efforts, in person and on social media.

 

Trump can’t win with his base alone, and his base is shrinking by the day. It’s worth it to do what we can to encourage the rise of alternative candidates who appeal to voters who typically vote Republican, but who don’t want to re-elect Trump. Weld fits the bill.

 

Weld says he’ll make his decision in late April or early May. If this is something you can do, please do it.

 

 

Donate to Weld’s 2020 exploratory committee:

https://www.weld2020.org

 

 

Read Ballotpedia’s page on Bill Weld:

https://ballotpedia.org/Bill_Weld_presidential_campaign,_2020

 

 

See his entry on the On The Issues website:

http://www.ontheissues.org/bill_weld.htm

 

 

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!

 

 

Read a New York Times piece on Weld’s announcement of his 2020 exploratory committee:

 

 

Read a Guardian piece on Weld and his possible 2020 primary challenge:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/23/bill-weld-interview-trump-republican-2020-challenger

 

 

Like Bill Weld on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/GovBillWeld/

 

 

Follow Bill Weld on Twitter:

@GovBillWeld

 

Health Care · Save These Tools

Believe It, You Matter: You Need a Longer Break? Take It. Just Please Come Back, OK?

Hi there. Sarah Jane here. I write the Believe It, You Matter entries.

 

Over and over on this blog, we stress the importance of regular self-care. It’s one of the four things listed under The Most Important Thing You Can Do. [Yes, we know it says The Most Important THING you can do. We cheated.]

 

But sometimes, regular self-care isn’t enough, and you have to step away for a longer spell.

 

I am writing this to tell you explicitly: If stepping away for a longer spell is what you need to avoid burnout, do it. Just please come back, OK?

 

There are days when I Cannot News Anymore, and I have to stop and mainline the Great British Baking Show instead. It happens. Sometimes it sneaks up on me.

 

Sometimes I go weeks between signing into the One Thing You Can Do Twitter account, because life happens, and because sometimes I come down with an acute case of I Cannot News Anymore.

 

Know how I handle it?

 

I step away, I let the blog run evergreens, and I aggressively refuse to beat myself up for stepping away.

 

Then, when I’m ready, I come back.

 

You matter. Your voice matters, and your vote matters, even if it doesn’t feel that way. We need you to stay here to carry on the fight, and we’ll still need you after Trump goes. Hell, we’ll probably need you more then.

 

If it’s all too much, step away and rest. But please come back. Always come back.

 

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!

 

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

GOOD NEWS! Democrat Chrissy Houlahan WON the Race for Pennsylvania’s 6th District in 2018

Update, March 24, 2018: Houlahan won the Pennsylvania 6th District seat on November 6, 2018, defeating Republican Greg McCauley with 58.9 percent of the vote to his 41.1 percent of the vote. Please consider her for your 2020 Core Four.

 

Update, May 26, 2018: Houlahan ran unopposed in the May 15 primary and will meet Republican Greg McCauley in the general election on November 6.

 

Support Chrissy Houlahan, a Democratic candidate for a house seat in Pennsylvania’s 6th District in 2018.

 

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran who earned her Stanford engineering degree by participating in ROTC. She later earned an M.S. in technology and policy from MIT. She’s been a COO for businesses as well as a nonprofit. She taught chemistry in Philadelphia. She’s the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a naval officer, and the mother of two grown children. She was moved to run by the outcome of the November 2016 presidential election.

 

She believes health care, public safety, and public education are all basic rights, and she would legislate accordingly. She wants campaign finance reform. She’d fight climate change and attacks on scientific facts as well.

 

Houlahan is endorsed by 314 Action, a nonprofit that is devoted to promoting a pro-science agenda on all levels of government, and electing more candidates with STEM backgrounds to office. She’s also endorsed by Emily’s List, VoteVets.org, and End Citizens United, among others. She is committed to defending Planned Parenthood and would resist attempts to undermine Roe v Wade. She supports getting veterans what they need to transition to civilian life and treat their injuries.

 

The Democratic primary takes place on May 15, 2018. Two other Democrats are running against her. If Houlahan wins the primary, she would face Republican Ryan Costello, who is in his second term as a house rep.

 

Update March 25, 2018: Costello announced that he would retire from Congress. The candidate filing deadline passed on March 20, so it looks like Houlahan will face Republican Greg McCauley. The two other Democrats have since dropped out, so Houlahan will be the sole candidate on the primary ballot in May.

 

In 2016, Ballotpedia considered Pennsylvania’s 6th district race safely Republican. Costello won 57.2 percent of the vote to his Democratic challenger’s 42.8 percent.

 

 

Visit Chrissy Houlahan’s campaign website:

https://www.chrissyhoulahanforcongress.com

 

 

See her Priorities page:

https://www.chrissyhoulahanforcongress.com/priorities-2/

 

 

*Consider her for your Core Four for 2018:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/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 Houlahan’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/314action_houlahan?refcode=314website

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/HoulahanForPA/

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@HoulahanForPA

 

 

Visit the Mission page for 314 Action:

http://www.314action.org/mission-1

 

 

Follow 314 Action on Twitter:

@314Action

 

 

Like 314 Action on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/314Action/

 

 

Read pieces about Houlahan and her campaign:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/congressional/key-womens-group-backs-dem-congressional-challenger-houlahan-20170612.html

http://www.dailylocal.com/article/DL/20170411/NEWS/170419965

 

 

Read Ballotpedia’s page on Pennsylvania’s 6th District:

https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania%27s_6th_Congressional_District

 

 

*Sarah Jane Smith, lead writer and editor at OTYCD, chose Houlahan for her Core Four.

Community Activism · Elections · Ethics · Good News · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Captain Awkward Is the Half-Assed Activist on Her Patreon Page, and Is, Unsurprisingly, Awesome

Captain Awkward is the Half-Assed Activist on her Patreon page, and is, unsurprisingly, awesome. You should read it and become a monthly donor. 

 

So! A while back we at One Thing You Can Do devoted a blog post to Captain Awkward because she has a lot of good advice that applies to dealing with trolls and twerps without losing your shit–skills that apply to dealing with politically-motivated trolls and twerps.

 

You can see that post here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/11/13/embrace-the-awkward-learn-to-handle-all-sorts-of-unreasonable-people/

 

Since then she’s added a Patreon and added a feature to her Patreon page: The Half-Assed Activist. It launched in January 2019 and it specifically tackles issues around political engagement, mental health, and mental health.

 

It’s exclusive to her Patreon, so you need to go there to see it.

 

You should be a Captain Awkward Patreon anyway (Disclaimer: Sarah Jane gives her $1 per month). But! The material she’s written for The Half-Assed Activist makes it even more of a bargain.*

 

The posts are infrequent–as of May 2019, there have been two–but they’re worth your time. Her April post, We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive, expertly brings the fire and merits a bookmark, so you can return to it and stoke yourself to go out there and do what needs doing.

 

 

Here’s the Patreon post in which CA introduces The Half-Assed Activist:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/new-feature-half-23921449

 

 

Here’s the link to We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/we-have-always-26242073

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

 

 

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!

 

 

*Captain Awkward generously gives hat-tips to One Thing You Can Do on her Patreon page. We’re delighted with hearing nice words spoken about us by someone we’ve all looked up to forever, but you should know–we didn’t solicit those comments. No logrolling here, we promise. And if her posts for The Half-Assed Activist sucked, we wouldn’t write about them. But they don’t, so we are.

 

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

Thwart a Constitutional Convention by Electing Democrats to State Legislatures

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Thwart any plans the Republicans might have to call a Constitutional Convention by helping to elect Democrats to state legislatures–your state’s, and other states. 

 

You know the importance of electing Democrats at all levels–federal, state, and local. You’ve read our blog posts on state-level legislative elections, and you might have done something to help. But there’s another reason to stay alert to state legislative elections, both in your state and in other states, and work to ensure that Democrats get elected.

 

The country can call a Constitutional Convention if two-thirds of the states band together and ask for one. Such a convention would allow its members to amend or even rewrite the Constitution.

 

What’s the problem? In order to call a Constitutional Convention, 34 states would have to  pass bills in their own legislatures to ask for one. A total of 38 states are needed to pass any measures cooked up at the convention.

 

As of mid-2017, 32 states have Republican-controlled legislatures, and 24 of those states have Republican “trifectas”–Republican governors AND a Republican-controlled legislature. Democrats have only six trifectas, and six more legislatures are split.

 

Worse, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank, has been steadily working toward changing the state legislative landscape to open the door to a Constitutional Convention. It’s agitating for a balanced budget amendment–which would prevent Congress from passing a budget that increases the national debt.

To lay it out plainly: If a Constitutional Convention happens anytime soon, it will be dominated by Republican-leaning states, and will almost certainly be dominated by measures that reflect Republican and conservative points of view.

 

They could write amendments that bans gay marriage, or abortion. They could augment the second amendment in a dangerous way. Heck, they could rewrite the first amendment to curtail protests. They could get up to all sorts of nasty shenanigans. That’s not to say their amendments will convince 38 states to vote in favor, but still.

 

You can thwart this in many ways.

 

First, learn which party, if any, controls your state legislature, and assess the strength or weakness of the party’s control.

 

If your state is controlled by Democrats, learn how to strengthen the party’s control by increasing their numbers. This might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

 

If your state splits control between the parties, see what you can do to broaden and boost Democratic control. Again, this might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

 

If your state is controlled by Republicans, you will want to commit time and money to increasing the number of Democrats, especially if your state has a Republican trifecta.

 

If you want to help affect legislatures beyond your state, target states with Republican trifectas and do your damnedest to break them.

 

 

Learn about upcoming state elections through Flippable:

https://www.flippable.org

 

 

 

Read about Constitutional Conventions, the modern pro-convention movement, and what’s at stake:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/a-constitutional-convention-could-be-the-single-most-dangerous-way-to-fix-american-government/?utm_term=.5eaf6cce9a8e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-surprisingly-close-to-a-new-constitutional-convention-bad-idea/2017/04/06/f6d5b76a-197d-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html?utm_term=.bbdac53be324

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/01/_liberals_and_conservatives_are_teaming_up_to_call_a_new_constitutional.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wisconsin/articles/2017-05-31/republicans-push-constitutional-convention-measures-forward

http://wuwm.com/post/wisconsin-could-become-30th-state-demand-constitutional-convention#stream/0

 

 

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!

 

 

Check this Wikipedia page to see which party, if any, controls your state legislature:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures

 

 

Read about how Republicans now control many state legislatures:

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/after-winning-7-more-seats-gop-dominance-state-legislatures-all

 

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!

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

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

 

 

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!