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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.

 

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Check Out Action Alliance, a Mega-Mall of Resistance Resources (Now Including OTYCD!)

Bookmark and visit Action Alliance, a web site that catalogs dozens of resistance resources.

In an earlier blog post we described What Do I Do About Trump as a supermarket of resistance resources. If What Do I Do About Trump is a supermarket, then Action Alliance is a mega-mall of resistance resources–story upon story of outlets dedicated to helping you push back against Trump.

One Thing You Can Do is proud to announce that it is now a member of Action Alliance. Hooray! But if our blog is not enough for you, please visit Action Alliance to find other things that you can do to help push back against Trump and his ilk.

See the Action Alliance web site: https://www.actionalliance.co/#about

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Keep Up the Good Work: Pushing Back is Having an Effect

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

One of the most welcome bits of news to arise from the Trump administration was the huge and immediate resistance movement that sprung up.

This is a landing page for good news about protesting, and other push-backs that got results, and stories that show that such efforts are effective.

 

Between 3.3 million and 4.6 million people marched in the January 21 Women’s March on Washington or one of its sister marches in America, making it the largest protest in the country’s history.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/01/womens-march-protest-count/514166/

 

According to this TEDX talk, it might take as little as 3.5 percent of a country’s population to engage in successful civil resistance against a brutal dictator. In case you’re wondering: The population of the U.S. is 319 million, and 3.5 percent of that would be 11.1 million.

My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the “3.5% Rule”

 

 

Read this February 6, 2017 Vox piece that recounts the first two weeks of Trump’s term and shows how pushback from the public slowed his roll:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/6/14473482/resistance-works-anti-trump-protests

 

The straightforwardly-titled What Calling Congress Achieves, from The New Yorker, is a heartening and nuanced look at the history of constituents calling their Congressfolk and bringing us up to the present crush of activity, and how effective it has been. (Spoiler alert: Very!)

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Thank You Actions · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Tell Your Secretary of State to Say No to Kris Kobach’s Voter Suppression Campaign

Tell your state’s secretary of state to refuse to cooperate with Kris Kobach’s demand to turn over sensitive information about you and your fellow voters.

Donald Trump chose Kobach to lead his commission on electoral integrity, a ridiculous effort that has no basis in fact. Stung by the fact that he lost the popular vote in 2016 by 3 million, Trump is salving his ego by holding to the fiction that millions of votes were cast illegally. So he’s chosen Kobach, who is known for his efforts to suppress the vote, to lead this assault on our rights.

In late June, Kobach asked all 50 states to supply detailed information about their voters, dating back to 2006: names, dates of birth, addresses, party affiliation (if known), and even the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers. (Kobach is the secretary of state for Kansas.)

As of July 1, more than half the states refused to comply. One told Kobach to go jump in a lake–well, the ocean, technically speaking. Delbert Hosemann, secretary of state for Mississippi, responded by saying, “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from.”

You need to find out who your secretary of state is and find out how that person responded to Kobach’s request.

 

You can do that by going to:

http://www.whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Once you have that person’s name, search it to get the contact info. You’ll have to scroll down a bit. Depending on where you live, the title might be slightly different. For example, in Massachusetts, that person is called the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Look for the title that starts with ‘Secretary of…’.

 

Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, has been tracking the situation on Twitter.  As of July 1, he reports that the following states have said no:

Arizona

California

Connecticut

Indiana

Kentucky

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Mississippi

Montana

North Carolina

New Mexico

North Dakota

Nevada

New York

Ohio

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

 

Does this list include your state? If so, contact your secretary of state and say thank you.

If this list does not include your state, that does not necessarily mean that the secretary of state has complied yet. Write and call to make it clear that you want your state to say no to Kobach and his bullshit request.

 

If you live in Mississippi, it’s extra-important to write or call Delbert Hosemann to thank him. He’s a Republican, btw. If you live outside Mississippi, send him a thank-you postcard:

Delbert Hosemann

Secretary of State

401 Mississippi Street

Jackson, MS 39201

 

To learn more about Kobach and what he hopes to accomplish, read Berman’s June 13, 2017 story for the New York Times Magazine titled The Man Behind Trump’s Voter-Fraud Obsession:

 

To stay on top of Kobach’s assault on our voting rights, and assaults on voting rights in America generally, follow Ari Berman on Twitter:

@AriBerman

 

Lastly, do you live in Kansas? Then you know that Kris Kobach is running for governor in 2018. Please do what you can to oppose and hamper his campaign. As of July 1, three candidates, including Kobach, had declared they will run, and all three are Republican.

When OTYCD hears of a Democratic candidate for Kansas governor, or receives solid information that one of the other Republicans is sane and has a spine, we’ll devote a separate post to the race. For now, concentrate on defeating Kobach.