There is a LOT going on in national politics and with the web of investigations about Trump and everyone who works with him. You just don’t see a president’s lawyer get raided by the FBI all that often. Like never. I don’t think it’s ever happened before. That’s some crazy shit. And there have been some very odd headlines about Trump getting Ukrainian money for speaking engagements and lots of foreign nationals being met at airports by Mueller’s team asking for a little sit down to discuss…stuff. We don’t know what. Then we’ve got President Pornhub live tweeting his own rage and threatening everyone from Bashar al Assad to Rod Rosenstein to Jeff Bezos. It’s weird, it’s tense, and it’s scary.
And there is fuckall we can do about it.
I know. Depressing, right?
The investigations are ongoing. The subject matter is in flux. Mueller and his team are zipped up tighter than a Duggar daughter’s prom dress and we are making do with the merest hints about whether we’re being governed by a corrupt dictator controlled by other corrupt dictators or if he’s just a blithering idiot.
Or both. Could be both.
We all just want something to happen. We want the tension to break. We want to be able to do something instead of just waiting for Rachel Maddow to dole out the dribs and drabs of information every night. But really? There’s nothing we can do to control the outcomes of the investigations.
What we can do – what I would argue we must do – is keep an eye on the November midterms. All elections have consequence but this one has a potentially amazing consequences. If Dems can win even one chamber of Congress back, we can grind Trump’s agenda to a halt. And if the chamber we win is the Senate? We can slow or stop his judicial appointments.
I know, right? That would be so cool.
I am apprehensive about these elections on a lot of fronts. Here’s what I think we, the people, need to do.
- Ignore all polls. Pretend there are no polls. Forget you ever even read the word polls. No matter how happy-making polling data sounds on the news, ignore it. Assume your candidate is in the race of his or her or their life and you need to do everything in your power to ensure victory.
- Get everyone registered. Now. Today. Find groups that are registering voters in your area and volunteer. If you hate interacting with people, donate money. Or bake cookies for the volunteers. Or post links to their resource pages. Do something to help with voter registration drives because the more people we have showing up, the better the health of our democracy is.
- Help people make plans to vote. Help your friends and neighbors and family get ballots if they can’t vote in person. Share early voting information if you state offers it – post it on listserves and Nextdoor, and all your social media accounts. Support groups that provide rides to the polls. The old adage is that when Democrats show up, Democrats win. Help the Democrats to show up!
- Beware of state level election fuckery. A lot of state legislative sessions are starting to wind down. If they want to push through any nasty laws about elections, this is a moment they might do it. If they try anything, raise hell. Don’t let them reduce the number of polling places, cut hours for early voting, make changes to registration rules, or otherwise suppress voting. RAISE HELL.
- Finally, all politics is local. Learn your local candidates, learn the local issues, and make that the conversation. I’m of the opinion that a referendum on Trump isn’t a good platform. It just lets him keep sucking up all the oxygen. Find out what your candidate’s hometown priorities are and putt those in the spotlight. Show up at town halls and ask the opposition candidate stuff like “My candidate has a detailed plan to repair three overpasses here in town. You haven’t even addressed the overpasses and everyone knows they’re falling apart. Why aren’t you talking about that?” Post similar points on social media and local listservs. Make the Democrats look in touch with the real people and real problems in your area.
We can win this – or at least enough of this to make a difference – if we all work together. I believe in us.