The morning after the 2016 election I felt as if someone had died. It wasn’t just me. There were millions of Americans who felt exactly like I did. I kept asking myself how something like this could have happened.
But deep down I knew what had happened. We had grown complacent. We let other people worry about the state of our republic. We weren’t involved in the process, other than voting, and many Americans didn’t even bother with that. We were able to get away with our complacency up until 2016. But then it totally bit us in the ass.
Women, especially, felt the pain. Hillary Clinton, for all of her perceived faults, was the most qualified person to ever seek the office of President of the United States. Yet, the orange buffoon had managed to squeak out an electoral collage win.
I had never attended a protest/demonstration in my life. But I marched with 100,000 other Minnesotans on January 21, 2017 at The Women’s March. It was the largest single day protest in US history. That wasn’t enough for me. At the age of 60 I became an activist.
Over the last four years of the trump administration I have involved myself in many ways to make a difference, to have an impact and to defeat the right-wing agenda. I have learned a lot.
I’ve been asked many times “What can I do?” Well, now I’m going to tell you.
PSA – If you are still supporting trump and other Republican candidates, you can stop reading now. Move along, nothing to see here.
Ok, for the rest of you, I am going to give you a laundry list of things you can do to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket. The majority of these are pretty easy and you don’t even have to leave your house. Can you use Google? Perfect, you can make a difference.
The first thing on the list – donate. For better or for worse, all campaigns need money to be viable. Whether you can donate $10 or $100, just do it. I do monthly donations of just $10 to several campaigns. We need to flip the US Senate, so start donating to those Democrats who are attempting to unseat trump enablers.
Amy McGrath is running against Mitch McConnell. He needs to go. Seriously, I can’t think of any other single politician who has done more damage to our democracy.
Lindsey Graham couldn’t suck up more to trump if he tried. Help out Jaime Harrison to get Graham out of office.
There are so many others. Maine, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina. Even Tina Smith’s Senate seat here in Minnesota isn’t a shoo-in. I donate to her campaign and help out with text banking. You can help her too: https://tinaforminnesota.com/
Now, let’s start at the top of the ticket:
Go to https://joebiden.com/take-action/ to sign up to volunteer for the Biden/Harris campaign. They have a list of ways you can help. Sure you can donate. Do. But you can phone bank from home, text bank from home, attend events online, order yard signs, bumper stickers and lots of other merchandise. Visibility is key. Let folks see that you support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
I used to think that these actions didn’t matter. But they do. You can put a sign in your yard. It’s about the simplest thing you can do.
Personally, I am hooked on text banking. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun.
Calling voters or sending texts might not be your thing. How about writing letters? Vote Forward is a fun way to reach out to voters in targeted areas. You are given templates, addresses, etc. Check them out here: https://votefwd.org/
Ever heard of Indivisible? Find them here: https://indivisible.org/ A national organization, Indivisible works through local chapters to get a lot done. I began working with the local Indivisible St. Paul chapter last winter. Since then, I’ve become part of the core leadership team and am involved in so many initiatives I can’t quite keep them all straight. We work locally, regionally, state wide and nation wide to get Democrats elected up and down the ticket. St. Paul is a safely Democratic community. But one of our goals is to flip the Minnesota Senate from red to blue. So we will be “adopting” Democratic candidates in flippable districts. We’ll be fund raising and volunteering for these candidates to help get the Minnesota state senate back in the hands of Democrats.
There is an Indivisible chapter near you. You can find them at the link above.
Are you worried about the election? Yeah, me too. Especially as it pertains to voter suppression, voting by mail and interference from a number of bad actors. Your local election offices need help. They need people to work at the polls during early voting and on November 3rd. Reach out to your county election office (Google is your friend) and find out how you can apply to be an election worker.
Never underestimate the power of social media. It might be the one thing Trump truly understands. Follow your favorite candidates on all the social media sites you use. Like, share and retweet their posts. Share information about their policies and campaign events. Like I said above, visibility is key.
And it goes without saying – VOTE. If you vote by mail, take every precaution to make sure your ballot is delivered on time and counted. Don’t wait until the last minute. Make your plan to vote now. It is too important to be left as an afterthought. Talk to your family, friends and anyone who will listen about voting. Be a pest. It’s ok. Desperate times and all that. Trump has stated unequivocally that he wants to slow down the mail to keep people from voting. https://www.npr.org/2020/08/13/902109991/trump-admits-to-opposing-funding-for-postal-service-to-block-more-voting-by-mail
This is no ordinary election year. Donald Trump and all of his enablers need to be beaten and beaten well. We need all hands on deck. Every single one of us needs to actively work to get rid of trump and the harmful Republican policies that are ripping our democracy apart.
If you aren’t sure how to get started or are uncomfortable with just jumping into any of these activities reach out to me. I’m more than happy to help get you started.
We can’t wake up on November 4th asking ourselves “what could I have done?”
Let’s get to work.