Since the election of 2016, I’ve been going to weekly grassroots activism groups. These groups are fantastic, you spend 2 hours a week choosing your own political adventure; phone banking; text banking; canvassing; and writing postcards. Groups like this have played a pivotal role in advancing Democratic candidates in Virginia, New jersey, and even in Alabama.
Thanks to groups like Indivisible, Swing Left, and Code Blue, thousands of local groups have sprung up across the country, doing the good work of combatting the Republican/Russian noise machine.
An interesting experience happened to me recently. I invited a friend of mine who is a film producer. I assumed he would get the gist, and contribute the same as any of the other volunteers. Boy, was I wrong.
My friend showed up an hour late. In addition, when he did show up, he didn’t want to actually do anything, except talk.
He didn’t want to phone bank, he didn’t want to text bank, he didn’t want to even write postcards. Instead, all he wanted to dod was talk about “national messaging,” He wanted to debate about who the national leaders are of the party, and discuss all the things the Democrats should be doing with national commercials.
It was embarrassing. Here he was, surrounded by two-dozen excited volunteers who were putting their time and energies into proven techniques to elect Democratic candidates. And rather than participate, all he wanted to do was debate what the national platform should be.
There were many reasons that Democrats got trounced in 2016 (despite winning the popular vote):
- The Russian Operation known in indictment papers as the “Translation Project”
- Heavily gerrymandered districts thanks to programs like Red Map
- Illegal voter ID laws that disenfranchise the poor
- State legislators purging voter rolls of Democratic voters
- Voter intimidation by Trump Supporters
- A well-organized Republican ground-game
- And last but not least, Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings in retail politics
Here was a group that was actively fighting all of these by taking concrete actions. Instead, he wanted to take no action, and debate a bunch of theoretical bullshit that didn’t matter.
I have no patience for people like this. If you’ve identified that there’s a problem, you need to take actions to fix it.
I had a similar issue with a group I was organizing shortly after the election, designed to phone bank for local education candidates. I was able to organize an event at a local improv club called the Clubhouse. About half-a-dozen people showed up, and the explicit goal of the ad was to train and encourage people to phone bank.
However, these people had no interest in actually doing anything! They wanted to socialize with other democrats, specifically other Bernie Sanders supporters.
We have real problems in this country, and we need people who are dedicated to solving them. So as you plan to vote tomorrow in the state’s primaries, make sure you are ready to make real change. Make sure the candidates you vote for are dedicated to taking real action.
Get out there and Do Something.
And if you’re not going to do something, then get the fuck out of my way!