You’ve read my essays and know how upset I have been about the Trump presidency, the way that it veers towards autocracy, criminality, racism, and a crass, childish style. We have two opportunities to stop the bleeding. One is proceeding in the legislature: the impeachment process. The other, which we need to pay even more attention to is the upcoming elections.
Many of us have been searching for a meaningful response. We send dollars to political campaigns. We prepare to knock on doors to canvas in neighboring states. But most of us live in a “blue bubble” and worry that these activities won’t have much effect. But I believe that there is a way to make a difference: by supporting proven grassroots political organizing. That is, support for those who support local organizations, particularly those located in the battleground states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
By focusing on county and state elections, the Koch Brothers created a vast, powerful network of grassroots political action, think tanks, PACs, and the like, which fueled and sustained the right wing revolution, originating in the Goldwater defeat, and blossoming in the Tea Party, presidencies of Regan, Bush, and Trump, and Congressional dominance leading to a defiant Republican judiciary.
The last time that Progressives experienced a comparable threat was the 1930’s, when the horrors of the Great Depression overrode political timidity and paved the way for the powerful programs of the New Deal. I believe that we may be facing a very different but comparable threat now, particularly as William Barr has added the resources of the Department of Justice to try to punish Trump’s opponents.
To fight off these threats, we must win the 2020 elections, local, state, and federal. Towards that end, let me introduce you to the Movement Voter Protect (MVP). They provide financial and consulting support to carefully vetted grassroots organizations in battleground states. These groups are already in action, battle tested, and enduring. They don’t dissolve every two or four years. Like the Koch brothers crusaders, they take the immediate and long view. I believe that support for the MVP provides a highly leveraged way for us, regular citizens, to make a difference.
Here’s one particularly compelling success noted by MVP : “We know that Maggie Hassan won her slim 2016 victory thanks to the votes in Manchester, Nashua, and Concord among people of color who turned out to support her. Leading that work were four MVP-supported organizations whose staff and volunteers knocked on 85,000 doors in the summer and fall of 2016. Hassan’s election – by 1,027 votes – saved Obamacare.”
With my friend, Matt Epstein, I will be holding a fundraiser for MVP, where you can be introduced to MVP organizers. Please join us on December 5, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Goulston & Storrs, 400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA. Light eats and drinks will be served
And if you can’t join us, please donate as generously as you can to the MVP Big Five Battleground Fund at https://movement.vote/.