O Ye of Little Faith
Why many liberals are frightened of their/our own shadow
Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me. — Emily Dickinson
For three weeks now, I’ve written a daily missive to you giving you the facts and the truth (as I see it) about our chances to win big in the Midterm elections. The majority of these have been written while I was in bed recovering from Covid-19. It’s hard to write while lying down and typing for hours at a time on a phone. I miss my Blackberry, I miss the beautiful blue screen of WordPerfect. I don’t miss my Commodore 64.
Two things I’ve noticed from the reaction you all have been sending me:
1) The majority of you have enthusiastically joined me in my belief that we are going to crush these traitorous coup-supporting Republicans who have stripped women of basic human rights and seek to destroy the rest of a Democracy that is seriously hanging on by a thread; and
2) The rest of you are in full panic attack mode. Instead of believing in my fact-based optimism, you think I might have rose-colored glasses on. You want to believe I’m right, but you’ve bought into the pundit and pollster orgy of “analysis” about how the Republicans are now “surging” and that the country has turned against the Democrats who seem to have happily given us record inflation, rampant crime and trans restrooms in every elementary school.
“Mike, I hope you’re right, but I’m afraid you’re not” is the line everyone in this second group writes to me.
But the majority of you are fired up and working as hard as you can to get out the vote. You are convinced that we can pull this off. You aren’t “hoping” we win — you are making sure we are going to win. You know the Trumpsters are indeed traitors for staging a violent coup attempt to overturn our 2020 presidential election (while hanging Mike Pence and killing Nancy Pelosi in the process). You know these Republicans won’t stop until Trump is back in the White House. Which would mean the end of the U.S. as we know it.
I understand the rest of you are scared shitless. Hey — so are we! In the past week, the media has been force-feeding us nonstop hourly reports of the Republicans “pulling ahead,“ and reporting that now the American people are convinced that the Democrats and Joe Biden personally are to blame for the temporarily high gas prices, the outrageous costs of Halloween candy, the Black men (!) who are going to mug you and the starving American babies in need of formula that Biden must be hoarding somewhere.
These stories are then followed by new polls showing Americans abandoning Democratic candidates and pledging to vote for Republicans who had wrecked the economy under Trump, blundered the response to Covid-19 which left one million Americans dead, and continue to propagate the Big Lie that Trump actually won the election and Joe Biden is not the true president. These same Republicans, who seek to ban all abortion, who want to end same-sex marriage, who supported Trump’s two trillion dollar tax break for the rich — well, according to the press and the pundits, they have an excellent chance to do well on November 8th.
So I see why you are starting to believe the new Conventional Wisdom. Especially when it is delivered to you by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the PBS Newshour and our friends on MSNBC and CNN. They can’t all be wrong. They mean well. They do important work.
But we’re a nation now trained not to use the critical thinking lobe in the brain God and/or nature gave us. And so as soon as the Times says, “Voters See Democracy in Peril, but Saving It Isn’t a Priority”, we start to shake, our hearts race, tears well up and we immediately buy the new story — even though I, your humble narrator, have given you 24 big facts, 24 real truths to the contrary — plus singing to you in the middle of the night a Midterm lullaby! — while providing you a logical roadmap to our midterm Blue Tsunami.
And then this morning we wake up to this in the Washington Post:
“Democrats fear the midterm map is slipping away: Polls in both the House and Senate show improvements for Republicans amid economic and crime concerns.”
Yet, according to an NBC poll also this morning, a slight majority of Americans say they want the Democrats in control of Congress. And I am convinced that, if we all do our work in the next two weeks, we will have that majority in both houses.
So why believe me? The guy in a ballcap with just a high school degree? The guy who tried to warn you in 2016, five months before the election, that Trump was going to win. Most howled and denounced me for stating what to me, living in the Midwest, was sadly obvious. It was like running down the middle of the street with my hair on fire screaming “Bloody murder!” but few would listen. I even made a quick documentary called “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” where I risked my life to try and convince a few hundred Ohio Trump supporters that they could both “not like Hillary AND vote for her!”. I soon realized that that form of complex thinking was not possible for this group of MAGA Americans. Nonetheless, it was the #1 most-watched piece of television on iTunes for eight weeks (“The Walking Dead” was #2). I’d like to think I helped to close the gap ‘cause in the end Trump only won because he got an average of two votes more per precinct than Hillary did in Michigan. Yes, you read that right. Two votes per precinct, two people who just stayed home on Election Day, two people you forgot to remind to vote, two people per precinct who didn’t use iTunes because they liked Vudu instead.
So I’d like to finish by addressing those of you who are terrorized and depressed because the media has you convinced your fellow Americans are now back on the Trump bandwagon.
Let’s go over the one main fact that should guarantee the winning of ANY election:
There are more of us than there are of them! By the MILLIONS!
Democrats have won the popular vote in 7 of the last 8 presidential elections.
Amongst 33 states and territories who let you affiliate with a party when you register to vote, there are currently 48 million registered Democrats vs. 36.4 million registered Republicans.
There are also 35.3 million registered independents. And a recent WSJ poll has Democrats with a 38%-35% edge over Republicans among independents.
The vast majority of Americans agree with us on ALL the major issues — legal abortion (62%), climate crisis (75%), minimum wage (62%), paid family leave (70%), legal marijuana (91%), unions (71%), Medicare for all (69%), Equal Rights Amendment for women (78%), mass incarceration, tax the rich (80%), free college (58%), free pre-K+ (71%), stopping voter suppression, LGBTQ+ rights (71%), take money out of politics, more gun control (70%), etc.
The people are already with us — by a wide margin. So how can we lose?
By failing to get out the vote — a vote that is ours if we want it.
Are we going to let that happen? We can’t just talk about it. We have to DO IT.
What did each of you do this weekend to guarantee a victorious turnout on November 8th (and to get people out now in the states where early voting is taking place)? If you weren’t able to do anything, may I ask you to do a favor for me?
There are only 2 weekends left before the election. Will you send me a personal, private email and tell me what you may be able to do and/or are going to do in each of these next two weekends to get out the vote? It can be anything! Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it helps, make this written commitment to me of what you will do in these next 16 days. It can be as simple as reminding your cousin to vote. Or helping your grandma. Or taking five people with you to the polls — and then to lunch or dinner afterward. Sign up with Grassroots Democrats HQ, Democratic Volunteer Center, Democratic National Committee, or Sunrise Movement to do phone banking from home. Or drive to Pennsylvania or Nevada or North Carolina or Ohio for a couple days of door-to-door campaigning.
But I want you to write me and tell me what you’re going to do. It’s all private. I won’t post anything. I just want to know I’m not doing this by myself!
Some of you have written me to ask “What if you are wrong?” Well, the only way I can be wrong about the Blue Tsunami is that if all of you do nothing. If you want me to suffer that embarrassment(!), then just do nothing to bring out the vote. One person wrote me and asked, “If you are wrong and we lose, will you post an apology?” Ha! How can I apologize for the millions if we fail to do our job? If we lose, it won’t be on me, it’ll be on all of us. So let’s not let that happen. Let’s prove ourselves right! Let’s turn the “hope” of us winning into actual winning!
It really is this simple. Your small action can make all the difference. It’s a real joy to be doing this with you.
And now let me leave you with this…
“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." — Anne Frank
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