Life: I VOTED! And I’ve encouraged others to vote!

I am always delighted to get a sticker. ALWAYS.

I completed my four sheet, multi-sided ballot!

I reviewed and/or had enough information to recycle my 340+ pages of official voter guides! (I have now also recycled all of the election propaganda that came in the mail!)

I sent letters to 30 infrequent voters, encouraging them to vote through the auspices of Vote Forward!

Vote Forward

Vote Forward volunteers send heartfelt handwritten letters to unregistered and low-propensity voters encouraging them to participate in our democracy. The letters have been shown to significantly boost voter turnout.

I previously made small donations this year to 15 different candidates running for office (all of whom happen to be pro-choice women!), and bigger donations to excellent organizations like Fair Fight, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List, and ActBlue’s get out the vote drive. I give monthly to the ACLU, who have been fighting in court for voting rights on multiple fronts and for many groups.

Home | Fair Fight

Fair Fight is a national voting rights organization rooted in Georgia. Join our fight for free and fair elections today!

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Take Action!

EMILY’s List

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $600 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY’s List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, and turning out women voters to the polls.

American Civil Liberties Union

Fighting Racism. Reimagining Policing. When the Constitution was written, “We the People” did not mean all of us. Slavery created a legacy of oppression for Black people that is woven into our institutions today – from education and health care to the criminal legal system.

I’m acting like U.S. democracy depends upon this election, because… it does.

Book: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

Cover of On Tyranny

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
by Timothy Snyder
published by Tim Duggan Books (Penguin Random House)
2017

This pocket-sized book of about 125 pages is written by a Yale History professor specializing in the Holocaust. Snyder relies upon this historical expertise to compare the language, speech, rallies, actions, and slogans of the US president elected in 2016 to those used by Nazis, Communists, and Fascists in a prior century. He finds many commonalities, and summarizes appropriate responses into twenty themes intended to support civil society over repressive authorities.

I read this when it was quite new, and found its warnings insightful; I read it again recently, and found it to be understated relative to our current circumstances.

What struck me more on the second reading is the idea that we are formally taught to believe that “progress” is inevitable; that the future is bright; that the seeds of the future were planted long ago, and all we need to do is step back and let it naturally grow. I recall being in high school and believing this, despite known systemic flaws in that plan. The idea is appealing, because it requires no real effort on any one individual’s part. If the future takes care of itself – how convenient is that? But I grew up, and could see clearly that having a future I’d actually want to live in requires effort.

Progress is NOT inevitable. Democratic institutions DO NOT defend themselves. People DO commit terrible crimes in the names of ideologies they can barely explain. Civilizations DO collapse.

Effort is always required to maintain good things. Always.