We are officially in the home stretch for the midterms, and I’m terrified.
Everyone is screaming about a “blue wave” and I have fears of a red wall made of voter suppression, gerrymandering, post-Kavanaugh inflamed Republicans, and apathetic Democrats who will stay home, just like they did in 2016.
There is a lot to be hopeful about, and a lot of excitement on our end, but it’s not all lollipops and unicorns.
In many key races the polls have shifted, and not in progressives’ favor.
Many Republican candidates have proudly gone full throttle crazy-lying-racist with their attack ads and open voter suppression tactics. The only thing more terrifying is that this may actually help them.
There is a lot of work to do if Democrats want to win on November 6, and time is running out.
That’s where we come in.
The LGBTQ community was built by the original get-shit-done organizers and activists. We never had the luxury of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for someone else to do it for us. We had to get it done for ourselves, and sometimes it wasn’t pretty or polite.
Our history is a collective narrative of inspiring uprisings, movements and eventually, political victories which makes us the perfect group to help lead the Democrats to victory.
The recent news that Trump is threatening to legally strip the gender identities of two million trans people sent shockwaves through our community as a sobering reminder of how these midterm elections hit very close to home.
People love to post about politics on social media, but very few are willing to give up the time to actually do something to make a difference. Let’s be the ones to change that.
I recently saw a bitchy meme that read, “If gay people spent as much time volunteering for the midterms as they did working on their Halloween costumes, we would win in a landslide.” I don’t think it has to be one or the other, and honestly, it’s counterproductive to attack and eat our own (a favorite past time for progressives). In fact, you can actually work on your costume while you volunteer to make a difference, all from the comfort of your home.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s my quick and easy list of three platforms that LGBTQ people can use to help Democrats win.
Swingleft.org is the perfect tool for volunteers who want to be informed and active in the midterm elections, either in their own districts, or from afar. As their site states “Swing Left helps you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018.”
Signing up on their site will put you on a mailing list (you wont get bombarded with emails) that is tailored to the district(s) you want to help in, moderated by a local District Leader.
They have an amazing initiative called The Last Weekend which is where you can be the most effective during these final days of the election by talking to voters. SwingLeft says “study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3–Tuesday, November 6).” No one loves to be social more than we do, so this is perfect!
Join SwingLeft in their efforts to flip the 23 seats we need to regain the House in 2018.
Flippable.org could easily be the name of a dating site for gay men who are versatile, but in reality it’s a fantastic group working hard to flip control of our government with an interesting approach to fundraising and volunteering. Once someone has donated to the Flippable Fund, which raises money for over 130 hand picked candidates in the most pivotal races, they will be hooked into the Flippable Fund network. Once in the network, they promise not to “pester you with endless donation asks” but instead “plug you in to meaningful volunteer opportunities, and share state news, campaign updates, & political progress reports.” You can also volunteer without any monetary donation.
Flippable’s State Strategy stresses the importance of winning on the State level, as State governments write the rules of national elections. They believe that by winning on the State level, they can build a progressive majority nationally to restore a fair Democracy.
Join the Flippable movement and agree to volunteer in person or from your home.
BuildTheWave.org is a fresh and and innovative way to mobil-ize voters, literally, by texting them! Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, and since everyone but my mother knows how to text, this is a quick, easy and cost effective way to reach voters directly. Their website states that “with more than 800,000 texts sent in 2018 alone and a team of over 2,000 volunteer texters, Build the Wave is one of the fastest growing and most impactful progressive organizations in the nation.”
Their engagement Director, Ryan Knight, whose twitter profile states that he’s “an activist for equality, women’s rights & racial justice. A proud LGBTQ American, a bleeding-heart liberal and the GOP’s worst nightmare!” Proud Resister, has amassed over 228.5K followers, and is just as outspoken about his political convictions as he is his orientation, especially when the two collide.
“When Trump threatens to revoke the civil rights of 1.4 million transgender and non-binary Americans, it’s a direct attack on our entire LGBTQ family,” says Knight. “And on November 6, we need to fight back at the ballot boxes and show the GOP that we are strong, organized and united against hate.”
Build the Wave is launching an unprecedented campaign to send 1 Million Texts for 25 congressional candidates in 2018’s most critical races. As election day gets closer, they will contact and encourage low propensity voters in must-win, toss-up districts. These are the folks they are going for, as well as the Millennial and Generation-Z voters who are often missed by the traditional outreach methods.
You can help Build The Wave meet their goal by joining their texting campaign.
Several key races since 2016 have shown us razor thin victories by hundreds of votes, proving that every vote matters. That’s not a bumper sticker slogan, it’s the cold truth.
Republicans have brilliantly trained their supporters to always show up to vote, even when the candidate is a pedophile, rapist, liar, cheater, homophobe, anti-semite, or just a run of the mill raging lunatic.
Democrats have had a voting problem in the past. They often don’t show up, or stay home assuming that their vote doesn’t matter and that somebody else will take their place, especially in “blue states.” This kind of thinking is not allowed or tolerated in 2018.
This is not the year to take your vote for granted as an LGBTQ person. We are under direct attack from this administration and the Republican partly (which include our brothers and sisters from the Log Cabin Republicans, who wait for us to reach the next rung on the ladder of equality only to help the GOP stomp on our fingers until we lose our grip). We must use our resources to galvanize our fellow Democrats and Independents to take to the polls to stop Republican corruption, greed, bigotry and lies.
Your vote and your voice are your only weapons in this war. Use your voice to volunteer as well as to speak to your family, friends and neighbors to make sure that they are voting too. Don’t be shy or polite about this! Now is not the time to be silent!
We stand on the shoulders of many brave LGBTQ people who came before us. They fought against insurmountable odds, with a lot less support and resources than we have today, to gain the rights and liberties many of us take for granted. We owe it to them, ourselves and our community at large to speak out, volunteer and most importantly, to vote and win this election.
Let’s not let them down.