This article was originally published on CommonDreams.org.
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That — and where to go from here — will be the subject of tomorrow’s letter.
Today, we have one job and one job only: Stop the return of the bigger criminal class, the Party of War, the people who (with a few Democratic enablers) manufactured the very mess we are in.
There is good news this morning: The final ABC/Washington Post poll shows that, among registered voters, people still say they prefer the Democrats over the Republicans by 5 percentage points. It’s only when the pollsters ask “likely voters” who they want that the Republicans come out ahead by a few points.
So it’s clear the majority of voters want the Dems, but the prediction is the Republicans will win because Dem voters are going to stay home.
So, our mission is simple: MAKE SURE NO ONE WE KNOW STAYS HOME TODAY. Here’s what I am going to do right now and what I’m asking the millions of you reading this to join me in doing:
1. Email, call and/or text every non-Republican in your personal address book and remind them to vote Democratic today. If they (rightfully) complain that the Dems have been disappointing, tell them they’re right, then ask them to watch this editorial by Rachel Maddow last night where she correctly lists the dozen or so things this Democratic congress did right — the types of things we’ll never see from the Republicans if they take over (equal pay for women act, taking student loans out of the greedy hands of the banks, funding for our first bullet trains, boosting veterans benefits after Bush refused to for 8 years, etc.).
2. Post a general reminder to vote (and who to vote for) on your facebook page and tweet it to your Twitter followers.
3. If you have the time, go down to a local candidate’s HQ or the local Democratic Party office and offer to make calls or give people rides to the polls.
4. Think local. No matter where you are in America, there’s someone on the ballot today in your town who deserves your vote. Guaranteed. If you’re in Wisconsin and you’re pissed at Harry Reid for letting Joe Lieberman derail the public option on health care, don’t let that stop you from getting everyone you know to go vote for Russ Feingold. In Florida and furious at the way the Obama administration coddled Wall Street? All the more reason to call every single person you know in the Orlando area to go vote for Alan Grayson. In California and mad about the total Democratic failure on global warming? You can still change the world for the better by showing up with all your friends to vote for Prop 19 to legalize personal use of marijuana (and stop the record numbers of people we put in prison who don’t belong there).
5. Explain to anyone who’s given up and doesn’t want to vote today that Obama was handed a terrible mess that he didn’t create. He may now understand he’s moved too slow and compromised too much on the big stuff that needed to get done (after all, Goldman Sachs was his #1 private contributor in the 2008 election). But in the last couple months he’s made some good moves — booting some generals, dumping economic advisor/wrecker Larry Summers, and hiring new people like consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. Things are very bad right now. But they can get MUCH worse. War with Iran? A genuine worldwide Second Great Depression? A Republican Congress will spend every second trying to make it happen.
6. Finally, we must let the Democratic politicians know that our vote comes with one big condition: If they do not straighten up, get a spine and do what we expect of them, we will find alternate candidates to run against them in 2012. And we mean it. Go vote today, but also sign this petition that I’ll deliver to every elected Democrat — the “I’m Voting Democratic But I Will Work to Defeat You Next Time If You Don’t Do Your Job” petition, aka “The Democrats on Probation” petition. Let’s publicly put them on notice that we’ll give them just two more years to start doing the things we elected them to do. If they move one more inch to the “center” or to the right, they will never get our vote again. And we mean business.
Bill Maher said, “We have a center-right party and a crazy party. Over the last 30 years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital.” That about sums it up. But he also said, “Sure, I’m mad at the Democrats. I’m also mad at my cell phone compnay. But I don’t throw away my cell phone cause I’m mad and then rub dog shit on my teeth.” We all know this isn’t the best situation to be in. So consider this one last reason to get out and vote:
There are good people the country has never heard of who are running today all across America, most of them for the first time. Somewhere in this great land right now, the woman who will cast the deciding vote in the Senate for single payer in 2016 is running for mayor of your city in her first big race. Somewhere else, the person who will become the first female president of the United States in 2020 is running for the state house for the first time. Their careers will be over and that future will never be if you don’t show up today. Go to theballot.org, find out who’s great and running where you live, and then show up to vote for them. You may help light the spark that will save our sorry ass somewhere down the road. Don’t just hold your nose today as you go in the booth — go ignite a future revolution. The only thing that makes the corporate honchos happier than paying no taxes is making sure as few people vote as possible. They think they’ve bought this election.
Go prove them wrong.