December 13, 2019

Election 2020 – party vs. party, all hands on deck

I am one of Donald Trump’s top non-fans. I’ve considered him a despicable crook (and bad businessman) since at least 1990. More drastically, as the child of Nazi refugees, I hate nativist wannabe dictators. Never, in my opinion, has there been a more important electoral task than getting rid of Donald Trump. Indeed, nothing else in US history has even come close. The survival of our free country is at stake.

Even so, I view the upcoming 2020 election as Democrats-vs.-Republicans at its core, rather than Trump-specific. Reasons for that viewpoint start: 

To repeat: Turnout for any race on a ballot is turnout for all. It follows that:

i.e., almost every election in the whole country deserves major campaign effort.

Similarly, almost every voter is worth targeting with messaging efforts:

But of course, different voters are interested in different subjects, and respond best to different messaging styles. Consequently, many different messages are worth spreading. Yet for obvious reasons of focus and consistency, candidates can only emphasize a small fraction of those messages. So other vectors of message propagation are also important, such as focused messaging by issue-advocacy organizations, third-party messaging campaigns or direct citizen-to-citizen communication.

So how can we help? Once the Democratic nominees are set, there will be tons of campaigns to volunteer for or donate for. Until then, we can donate to organizations that are not tied to particular general election races. The first step, if you haven’t done it already, is to sign up with ActBlue, a kind of PayPal-for-Democrats. Signing up has two easy stages:

Once you’re registered with and logged into ActBlue, almost any donation to a specific Democratic candidate or organization is super-easy.

Specific donee recommendations include:

Unlike many advocacy groups built around particular issues, these organizations don’t seem to be intervening much in Democrat-vs.-Democrat primary campaigns. So donations to them will be spent primarily on winning the November election.

Also, Indivisible, while not originally focused on elections, contributed a lot to the Democrats’ 2018 successes around the issue of health insurance, seems to be getting more election-focused over time, and has been astute since the get-go.

Further, I urge you to discuss politics directly with fellow citizens – family, friends, coworkers, casual acquaintances, social media friends, social media strangers, anybody. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Hit them with impression after impression after impression, in whatever way you feel would be most effective or leaves you feeling the most comfortable. The important thing, in this time of crisis, is that you do SOMETHING.

And by the way – please drop any notion that word-of-mouth or social media political persuasion don’t matter. If you think people are set in their opinions and impossible to be persuaded of anything, how did they get that way??? Was it at birth, or from their parents? Did they one day accidentally hear Rush Limbaugh and get their ideas fixed for life? Probably not. More likely, they got ideas from authority figures and the media and also had those ideas reinforced by friends and acquaintances. General citizen-to-citizen communication matters a lot.

Communicate what, you may ask? The strongest message I have, as mentioned above and spelled out in another post, is that our democratic freedoms are at stake. If your intended audience isn’t likely to understand or acknowledge that danger, yet another post suggests hammering the theme of Republican extremism. The words “crazy” and “cruel” resonate too, and are often easier than “extreme” to work into conversation. Or if you want to focus on a particular type of issue you think will get good reception with a particular audience – the environment or guns or abortion or racism or whatever – that’s a great option as well.

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