Tony Award winning actor Ben Platt:
’And a little child shall lead them.’
R E G I S T E R E D U C A T E V O T E
“The Americans are very impressionable people; they see what they want to see. I have a lot of respect for them. I am not upset at all that I ended up on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him.”
Russian Oligarch Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, one of 13 Russians indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, February 16th, 2018, for interfering in the American election.
“Facebook, Twitter and Google have all identified the Internet Research Agency as a prime source of provocative posts on divisive American issues, including race, religion, gun laws and gay rights, particularly during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook found, for example, that the agency had posted 80,000 pieces of content that reached more than 126 million Americans.” [NYTimes]
Imagine a world where democracy lives up to its lofty promise… where problems are solved by debate and compromise rather than vitriol and internet trolls. A nice thought isn’t it?” asks Brian Klaas. As a scholar of democracy and authoritarianism, he’s seen fear-and-division politics rising across the world, but says we’re more powerful than we think in reversing this trend. Beyond the uncomfortable stats of our civic shortcomings; he shares moments with those he’s met risking their freedom and their lives for a democratic choice; and offers five concrete ways we can start changing what we don’t like.
Thoughts from Brian Klaas:
Democracies around the world are dying. Remember: Being a citizen is a full time job.
People who say, “my vote doesn’t matter”? Wrong.
Politicians pander to those who vote. (Who votes in majority? Older white males.)
Democracies are dying. One man in Russia who was being followed by the secret police told Klaas, “You don’t know how lucky you are.”
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
-David Foster Wallace
We need to remember how powerful we are.
Of the people.
By the people.
For the people.
Ongoing paradox: People are unhappy with the system, but not many do much to understand it…or do anything.
In the midterm election in 2014, 36% of registered voters voted. 64/100 didn’t bother.
In the 2016 presidential election? 60% voted. And the current president was voted in by 30% of the US population. Apathy voted a candidate into the Oval Office.
80,000 people tipped the election…enough to fit into a football stadium.
We get the candidates we deserve.
P A R T I C I P A T I O N
Our collective power to save democracy:
Vote in every election…local and national, because the local candidates become national candidates.
Before the election talk to 10 people before voting.
Be the boss to your politicians; they work for us. Whether they agree with you or not, tell them how you feel.
Reach out to someone who believes completely differently from what you believe. And listen.
Run for office or organize a new political group.
Actions become ripples and those ripples become tsunamis.
Think about it. If women waited for an invitation, we still wouldn’t have the right to vote.
2018 is ours. And the youth? They are activating.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
Go see it. It will give you hope. (Stay until the very final credit rolls.) ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Charlie Rose. Glen Thrush. Al Franken. Donald Trump. Roy Moore. Mark Halperin. Harvey Weinstein.Bill Clinton. George H.W. Bush. Kevin Spacey. Louis C.K. Bill O’Reilly. And so many more.
Women: please run for office.
Ex-Felons Voting for the First Time Could Shake Virginia Governor’s Race
A massive effort is underway to get formerly incarcerated people to the polls.
A massive effort is underway to mobilize the potential new voters. Ex-offenders have hit the streets to register others like them to vote, often teaming up with community groups. “There’s a lot of work being done to make sure they’re planning to be a significant part of this election,” says Price, who also directs a voter engagement project with the nonprofit New Virginia Majority that has targeted ex-offenders.
In Richmond, few people have registered as many felons to vote as Muhammad As-saddique Abdul-Rahman. The 54-year-old was himself most recently released from prison in 2002—he went in for the first time as a teenager on felony robbery charges. After getting out, he struggled for years with homelessness and alcoholism. But things changed after he got sober, and again the day McAuliffe announced his rights were restored.
That night he went online to register to vote, and the next day he set out to register others. “I went to Monroe Park, where they have breakfast for the homeless and I knew there were a lot of ex-offenders,” he says. “I went to drug houses, to the neighborhoods I grew up in, the neighborhoods I had lived in. I went to AA meetings, different churches, soup kitchens.” Within a few weeks, he says he had registered some 500 people. Hoping to turn his sudden calling into a career, he searched online for voter registration jobs and stumbled upon a phone number for New Virginia Majority; the group hired him as a full-time staffer. Abdul-Rahman estimates he has now personally registered about 2,000 people.
ACLU rallies tens of thousands of people across the US on Saturday, March 11th, to organize and #resist.
The ACLU is spending millions of dollars on a plunge into grass-roots politics — a “People Power” campaign. It’s the newest and largest development from a sprawling “resistance” movement that regularly moves faster than the Democratic Party’s leaders can think and isn’t waiting on politicians for cues.
People Power debuted this weekend in south Florida and, by the organization’s estimate, at thousands of weekend house parties nationwide. Everyone who showed up received a nine-point plan to turn blue America into a network of “freedom cities” by defying the president’s executive orders, his health-care agenda and his Justice Department. Anyone who missed it could click on PeoplePower.org, the latest catchall website to find actions that would get results.
The key to the effort: targeting Trump’s policies, rather than the man or his words. If 2016 taught Democrats anything, it’s that attacking Trump isn’t enough.
“We’ve seen this exponential growth in people becoming card-carrying members of the ACLU,” Romero (Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union) said in an interview after his speech. “They’re younger. They’re in every state around the country. The biggest danger was in not doing something like this, where people get apathetic and they fall asleep.”
There’s little apparent risk of that, and the biggest organizations on the left, broadly defined, are staffing up to give it direction. The Center for American Progress is planning a grass-roots conference for “rising” activist groups in California next month, and an ideas conference in Washington one month later. Super PACs such as American Priorities have become promotion machines for the Indivisible movement, which in just a few months has begun to organize some local chapters as official nonprofit groups.
…no organization is transforming as quickly or as boldly as the ACLU. Since the 2016 election, it has tripled its membership to more than 1.2 million and raised more than $80 million, with plans to add 100 staff members to a team of about 300.
[Full read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/aclu-is-spending-millions-on-grass-roots-resistance-campaign/2017/03/12/f0fe8158-05ed-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.27b591c1d7d6]
“One of the animating causes of this magazine at its founding, in 1857, was the abolition of slavery, (the) Republican Party, and the man who was its standard-bearer in 1860, represented the only reasonable pathway out of the existential crisis then facing the country.
(Lyndon. B.) Johnson, The Atlantic believed, would bring ‘to the vexed problem of civil rights a power of conciliation which will prevent us from stumbling down the road taken by South Africa.’
And the magazine noted that Goldwater’s “preference to let states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia enforce civil rights within their own borders has attracted the allegiance of Governor George Wallace, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birchers.”
(Trump) has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.
If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement. We believe in American democracy, in which individuals from various parties of different ideological stripes can advance their ideas and compete for the affection of voters. But Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.”
“America, if eligible at all to downfall and ruin, is eligible within herself, not without… Always inform yourself; always do the best you can; always vote.”
This is the political revolution – – 27,000 people rally for BERNIE in New York City.
- Get out the VOTE.
- Protect voting rights.
- Rid politics of big money.
Whatever happens at the conventions, or in November, one guy changed the debate and activated hundreds of thousands young voters to mobilize, protect voting rights, and get big money out of politics.
‘Are there primary voters who say, “I know that he craves attention, hustling and manipulating to sell emotional promises, not realistic action, but I’m going to vote for him anyway, because it makes me feel powerful to do so…”?
As soon as that self-awareness kicks in, it’s possible to be more discerning about what you believe and why.
Or are there mindful people who say, “there’s no clear right answer in this conflict, but my people, my folks, we have always supported this side, so I’m going to keep doing that, because breaking with them is too painful…”?
As soon as you ask that question, it’s a lot easier to have a civil, productive conversation, because instead of wearing yourself out arguing tropes, you can talk about the actual issue, which is belonging to a tribe. We can talk about how we work through the cultural change to get to a new place, not have an argument about history.
Marketing works. It’s powerful. We’re able to acknowledge that and see it for what it is without giving up what we choose to believe.
We can create better decisions and more amity by being clear with ourselves and others about how marketing is changing what we believe (and vice versa).
It’s a lot harder to be manipulated if you accept that there’s a manipulator, and it’s a lot easier to see a path forward if you acknowledge that you weren’t looking for one before.’
400,000 lower income Kentucky residents, many racially diverse, will soon be without medical care because two white guys in Kansas believe the government should not help those in need. How were these marginalized groups informed, or not informed, about what could happen to them if they didn’t vote? This governor-elect, a conservative right-wing Tea Party candidate who was elected yesterday in Kentucky, was supported by huge donations from the Koch brothers during the election. Who voted? Conservative white people. Votes count. Every single one.