Two weeks from today, the nation will have an election. For some people–people who are lucky and privileged enough for their lives to be just fine no matter the outcome–it will be just an election. But there are other people for whom this is an existential election–their lives, well-being, health, and safety depend on the outcome. People whose lives are threatened and put at risk by the policies this administration enacts, people who live in fear that their neighbors or strangers will attack or harm them because of who they are or who they love, people who may not be able to get the governmental services or healthcare they need because of the decisions of this administration. For many people and many Virginians, these elections are the hope they’re clinging to that their lives will turn out okay.
And that is why we need ALL HANDS ON DECK for the next 14 days.
This is not the time to have long philosophical discussions about the future of the party, not the time to rehash old election squabbles, not the time to worry about who should run for President in 2020, not the time to complain about campaign strategies. Honestly, it’s not even the time to march or protest, as important as those sometimes are.
This IS the time for every single person to do everything they possibly can for the next 14 days to win as many of these races as we can. Leave it all on the field. To do this, we need to be efficient, effective, and we need to ALL participate.
Here’s an unpopular opinion. I LOVE long shot races. I supported many of them last year. I love that people are brave enough to run in these daunting races; love that they force the Republicans to spend money on these races; love that the work we do in these races beats a path through territory that we haven’t before, and makes it easier for the next run–and possibly makes a win possible next time. BUT, with two weeks to go before the election of our lives, we need to focus as much of our efforts as possible on the races where we can make the most difference. We need to make sure that we win the two races where we’ve been polling ahead of the Republican (VA-10 and VA-05); and we need to throw everything we have at the two that are too close to call (VA-07 and VA-02). Unless you are already committed to some other race, we desperately need your help in one of these!
If you can canvass, this is the #1 greatest need of these campaigns right now. Knock doors, leave lit, talk to voters about making sure they vote. Believe it or not, there are people who STILL don’t know there’s an election. Living under a rock, I guess. That’s why GOTV canvassing is the most important event of the whole election cycle, and the campaigns will try to hit every single door in their universe of Democratic voters most likely twice. That’s hundreds of thousands of doors. They need your help! These are easy conversations, just reminding people to vote. Even if you’ve never canvassed before, get out there and volunteer!
If you absolutely, positively can’t canvass, next best is making phone calls. Find out where and when phone banking is taking place and start making those calls. These are the same conversations, just on the phone instead of at the door. Some campaigns are doing text out the vote, this is probably the easiest way to reach voters, it’s very automated, and if you’re decent with technology, this is for you.
Lastly, if you can’t do either of these, the least thing you can do is use your social media to help amplify the messages of our candidates, to help them control the online messaging. Post on every platform how great our candidates are, like and share the messaging from the candidates themselves, search for their hashtags and names and like and share great comments that other people are making and pictures they’re posting. My advice–don’t let yourself get sucked into arguing with the Republicans’ supporters or trolls. Just focus on amplifying the positive narrative of our candidates.
There’s no excuse not to participate. If you aren’t doing it for yourself, do it for your immigrant neighbor, your gay friend, your transgender co-worker; do it for your children, your parents; do it for the environment, the earth, for other countries whose economies and well-being depend on US policies. Do not wake up the day after the election and wish you’d done more. Do not watch a race in Virginia come down to a few hundred votes, and wonder whether we might have won if you’d only knocked doors one day. 14 days to fight for democracy–let’s leave it all on the field!