Anecdote: Brad, Kara, Don, Barack, and Chris

Brad Ashford, a Nebraska Democrat, was my congressman in 2014–16. He ran again in 2018 and everyone assumed he’d make it out of the primary. That was not the case. He lost to a more progressive candidate. A woman named Kara Eastman who brought new voters into the fold. She ultimately lost to a vanilla Republican named Don Bacon. He’s not a terrible racist like other House Republicans but he did vote to take health care away from millions of people, which is the main reason I despise him. I very much wish Kara would’ve won but NE-02 has been gerrymandered all to hell since its electoral vote went to Barack Obama in 2008. Republicans here, like the national party, are into rigging the system in their favor. In just this last election they got term limits on the ballot for Lincoln’s mayor, an office currently held by a Democrat. It passed and now the guy, Chris Beutler, who has led Lincoln into the 21st century with a big, bold vision can no longer run. Just goes to show you, today’s GOP, no matter where you go, is full of anti-democratic partisan hacks who either cheat or change the rules to stay in power. The whole party is fucking horrible and every last one of them should never be voted for ever, ever, ever again. #VoteDemocrat

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I’m on an unsubscribing spree. Email lists be damned, I’m removing myself. In most cases, nothing against you the sender, I just need a break. Post election, I’m cutting back. News notifications on my phone? Nixed! And I’m really not liking Facebook very much at all these days. Hence, time to deactivate. Very much looking forward to a less “noisy” next few months. Still love Instagram. Because I’m a sucker for the visual. Anyway, carry on. Also, follow me on Twitter.

What concerns you most about the future?

My answer: That we will no longer use our collective, public sphere to solve problems and allocate our vast resources in service of the full society, at the human level.

My fear: This division, hatred, fear, ignorance, suspicion, and credulity is only beginning and will continue to grow.

Worst case: The planet burns us into a horrible existence.

Best case: Music that actually goes to 11.

Only the beginning ...

2016: lots of people in my networks voting for Hillary Clinton.

2018: lots of people in my networks calling, canvassing, donating, writing, driving, attending, and voting for Democrats. So yeah, things are different.

This matters greatly. It’s about engagement, participation, democracy. If you were someone who showed up and put your body on the line, then you are the solution. When added together, when you and your friend and your neighbor and so on all get involved, things get better.

Even in defeat, and there were some hard ones to take, we win. Even if the vote tallies were not in our favor, the message being sent is that apathy is on the way out. We are ready to take on the dark forces at work in our society and no matter the outcome, we will not quit. Remember, the powers that be want us to be quiet, to not pay attention, and to get out of their way. We say no thanks to that horseshit.

This is our great march forward toward progress. And it has only begun. See you out there.

Vote Dems

On average, I am furiously outraged at the news 6–72 times a day. I am tired of the corruption and incompetence. I have had it with all the lies and deceit. And I can’t take anymore the idea that all our collective futures are getting ruined because the people in charge of our government are enacting some truly horrible policies with ramifications that will be with us for decades.

Despite all of that, and even setting aside the racism, sexism, and overall hateful bigotry of the current administration, there’s really only one reason that should compel someone to vote for the other political party. And that reason is this:

Checks and mothafuckin’ Balances, people!

Without checks and balances, power is abused. Without checks and balances, the worst is possible. Without checks and balances, our institutions cannot fulfill their promise of liberty and justice for all of us. I think this is one of the simplest ideas in all of the world. If you want large entities like government to work, you cannot have unchecked power. It leads to disaster.

So with that, if for no other reason, to restore checks and balances to our political ecosystem, VOTE DEMOCRAT!

Small ‘d’ democracy

I’ve hosted events, attended fundraisers, knocked doors, made phone calls, wrote notes, dropped off lit, and made many donations. I have a host of yard signs covering my yard. I’ve offered up my design skills in the making of posters and such to help candidates raise money and/or highlight important issues at stake in these upcoming elections. And I’ve been posting every day on a host of social media accounts about the importance of voting. And you know what? None of it is enough.

But hopefully, with all the contributions of everyone else, it adds up to be enough. Adding together the forces of anyone who cares about our democracy in the most important midterm election of our lifetimes, maybe that does the job. Alone, all my efforts were a drop in the bucket, but together, those efforts get multiplied. Because that’s how you do it. You do what you can do, how you do, and you make your mark. And so does another person, and another, and another. Living out this small ‘d’ democracy the best way we can.

We can help. We can make a difference. So let’s get out there! For an hour, for two. Toss in a few bucks. Maybe twenty. And if you voted early, then get to work on election day. Canvass, make calls, hold signs, make more calls, or drive voters. And then get ready to toast your favorite candidates who put their bodies on the line for our democracy. They did so for the good of the nation and the hope of our future.

Onward democracy!