Archives for posts with tag: election

I went to CrushTheMidterms and got a personalized plan of action for how to help the Resistance in this election. Go there, answer some questions and you’ll get an easy, custom-tailored plan for effective actions you can take.

Now, you’ve probably been hearing the Pod Save America guys and others urging you to get out and canvass. It’s a great way to contribute if you can. Geography and two young kids make that fairly difficult for our family. Fortunately, there are many ways to help without even leaving the house!

I’ve been writing postcards with Postcards to Voters for a few weeks now and have been ramping it up lately. I’ve even organized a few postcard writing parties. Although, I’ve gotten the most done by simply plugging away for a couple of hours each night. Once you sign up, it’s easy to get assignments of campaigns you can write for using texts or Facebook. A lot of people seem to have the impression that this involves some measure of artistic creativity in making the cards – it doesn’t. Just buy pre-printed postcards. Frankly, it already takes a good while to write all the info you need to include on each card. Protect your wrists.

Another way you can help out from home that I’ve been doing is text-banking. I signed up through Resistance Labs, but there are many different outfits out there doing it. You use an app to send hundreds of text messages to folks in targeted districts. There are only occasionally real conversations to be had, it’s mostly sending pre-written responses to help folks find their polling place or get registered. So, basically, it’s super easy and even the most introverted among us have no excuse.

You have something to contribute to what could be the most important election of our times. Time, talent or treasure ($$$), it’s all needed. So, get out there (or stay inside) and help crush the midterms!

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This is an utter tragedy. I went to sleep last night before the final results came in, a little tipsy and very frightened. My heart goes out to the thousands of people that will die because this miscreant and his malevolent cronies are going to be in charge.

 

We must steel ourselves for a long, hard battle, but for now I’m just feeling deeply disappointed and sad.

I have been deeply impressed by Obama’s actions since winning the election.  He has made confident strides towards forming an exemplary government and enacting his campaign platform – while at the same time emphasizing that he won’t be able to deliver on all his promises.  The honesty of his position and the open, participatory manner in which he is going about the transition process is a very welcome sign for the coming era of American politics.  I understand that pulling back on campaign promises is a move that will help him later on when the election momentum has faded and people start looking for results.  I can’t help but admire it, though, as a sign of his rationality.  That our incoming President seems to believe that logic and intellect are essential to manning the tiller of the ship of state is a welcome relief after the rising tide of fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism this country has seen.

I know, too, that there are lingering questions about the financing of Obama’s campaign, especially all of the internet donations.  Still, to see the open and inviting Change.gov is a very hopeful omen of the possibilities for participatory and, I don’t know, even democratic government in the 21st century.

I also can’t help but feel that there is a world of difference between how President-elect Obama is handling the transition and the selection of cabinet members and the way a Republican would have handled it.  I have the feeling that there would be a lot more consideration of favors and relationships for a Republican cabinet.  In fact, there would probably be much more back slapping and immediate resting on the laurels of the election had the other candidate won.  Mr. Obama has moved into the transition phase with the same cool, reasoned determination that made his campaign the beautiful machine that it was.  I continue to be delighted with the choice that my fellow citizens have made.

November 6th was an inspiring day full of optimism and hope that buoyed my spirit.  The nation and the world were celebrating the election of Barack Obama and all that fact embodied.  For me personally, the day was tinged with some negativity.

On the  Wednesday after the election, I was mugged coming home from work. I’m totally fine, the kid wasn’t violent or anything. He started walking behind me and then called out and he had a bandana over his face. Then I just said I was going home and started to turn into another houses driveway – about three houses from my own. He got in front of me – his hand under the front of his shirt as if he had a gun or something – and demanded what was in my pockets. I gave him $15 that I had right away. He was saying” I ain’t foolin with you” but he sort of was – he was young and I doubt now if he really had a weapon at all. Then he asked for my phone and I thought ” Oh great, I’ll just hand him my old, supremely jenky phone and he’ll take off,” but I had put it in my bag and I couldn’t find it in my pockets.

All I could find was my new phone that I had, that very day, set up.  I stalled for quite a while “looking” for my phone, which is why I think he didn’t really have a weapon because he surely would’ve pulled it out at that point.  Comically, I pulled out my keys at one point.  They were in my pockets after all.  I actually put them in his open hand.  But he didn’t close his hand and he just looked at them and I looked at them and then took them back, maybe mumbling “I guess you don’t want those”

Then he asked about my bag because I had my laptop bag with my work laptop in it (I went to the SF office on Wed, but was going to Davis on Thurs.) and I got to use a line from the Dude about it just being “business papers”.  He left it at that and I continued fumbling around for my phone.

Then, fortuitously and before I took my new phone out of my pocket, a neighbor came out of the house that we were right next to, three doors down from my place, and he says what’s going on? He was a big black guy. And the kid’s like” you know, just trying to get mine. you know” and the guys goes, “No, I don’t know. Time for you to bounce” and I was backing away from the kid the whole time.  he was starting to leave and then he (the kid-mugger) says to me “Turn around and start walking” and I said” Why don’t you just get out of here.” To this he replied “What?!” and started halfway to come back, but the big dude was like “get the F outta here” and so the kid turned back around, eventually breaking out into a run and was joined in fleeing by his friend who was waiting down the block.

So, the only thing he stole from me was the $15 and my sense of security in this neighborhood.  i never pulled my new phone out of my pocket.

All of this was at night, maybe 7:30 but definitely dark out bc of daylight saving time ending. The guy asked me if I was all right and I said yes. He said “I can’t believe he’d pull this shit after we just had this election” and it was so true but I couldn’t have said it, y’know?

We introduced ourselves and then he made sure I could get home safely.  I told him that I just live two or 3 doors down and then I went home, adrenaline still pumping, and told the whole thing to my roommate and her friend visiting from France.  Then I called the cop and gave the report and had a beer (okay, actually the beer was the first thing…)
I was a bit shaken up, but I think I’m really okay now.  It was just a strange experience made all the more disconcerting by the fact that the police officer who took my report said that this sort of thing happened increasingly towards the holidays.  He was surprised they had started this early.  It makes one think about moving or something drastic (mace?) but really I think it’s just a fact of life that I’ve been lucky to avoid in my pampered and comfortable life until now.  I’m just relieved he didn’t do anything stupid and punch/cut/shoot me.  Most of the time I am riding around on my bike when I’m there at night, which makes me a much harder target, I imagine.  So, in a way it’s not so frightening.  Plus, knowing that my neighbors are the type that would get my back is very reassuring.

There’s also the realization that into everyone’s life a little rain must fall.  I could almost be grateful that I’ve gone nearly 30 years without incident and with this being a minor incident at that.  Plus, there is the consideration that I should not be so attached to my possessions.  It’s absurd in hindsight that I didn’t want to give over my phone.  My phone was essentially free with my contract and probably could’ve been replaced at little to no cost. When one considers the casual atrocities committed the world over in the cover of night, each and every night, in every town or village, the power of this particular event to me personally seems ridiculous.  Still, it seems my CNS registered things just so, and that’s a difficult web to disentangle oneself from.

It really was a glorious day besides that. (The Wednesday after the election, heretofore known as Obama Day.) I was overwhelmed with a sense of camaraderie and fellowship with everyone I met.  There was just a spirit in the air, you know?  I’m going to put this behind me and focus on the good tidings of a Barack Obama era for our country.  Although, I had been thinking during the day that this election is totally going to make white people (or at least a certain class of them) think that they are black people’s “friends”, you know.  I have felt it myself, this unconscious reaction to seeing black people around and thinking “yeah, we did it!” when really there’s no “we” there; besides being strangers, I have no idea what their experience is like and my contribution to civil rights and equality is infinitesimal, if not entirely irrelevant.  It vaguely analogous to saying “I have a black friend” and I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts some black comedian is going to make fun of this phenomenon within a week.  That Senior Black Correspondent, Larry Wilmore, on the Daily Show is going to say, “Stop smiling at me, white folk. We’re not friends just cause you voted against Bush.”

Or maybe that’s jumping the gun in the race to be cynical.