At first, grief and shock. Then rage. Now action. Too many of us will vent angrily for weeks, perhaps till New Years eve, and then go back to car pools, work, kids soccer games, charitable volunteerism, yoga, book clubs, "raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, [and] tasting artisan beers".
This OpEd series is devoted to those of us who are ready to stand and fight for our future, not just throw up our hands in despair and then go for long meditative walks while the world crumbles. We must be prepared to act now, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Because this battle will take years. Like yoga and broccoli, defending America and the future of the world must now be our daily practice.
Action One: RETAKE THE SENATE IN 2018.
Our first real chance to stop Trump politically is the midterm Senate elections. If we take back the Senate in 2018, we can block most of Trump's legislative agenda, including all-important Supreme Court nominations.
We need all hands on deck. Democrats (including Independents who caucus with the Democrats) have 25 seats on the line, while Republicans are defending just 8 seats.
We must defend 12 currently Democratic seats in red and red-leaning states: Indiana (Donnelly), Missouri (McCaskill), Montana (Tester), North Dakota (Heitkamp), West Virginia (Manchin), Florida (Nelson), Ohio (Brown), Wisconsin (Baldwin), Michigan (Stabenow), Virginia (Kaine), Maine (King), and Pennsylvania (Casey).
We must also win 2 vulnerable Republican seats. Dean Heller in Nevada is target #1. Obama carried Nevada by 5 points in 2012 and Clinton carried it by 2 points this year, so Heller is clearly vulnerable. If we mobilize the way we did for Hillary and Obama, Heller can be beat. Jeff Flake in Arizona is target #2. Cook Political reports that Romney carried Arizona by 9 points in 2012, but Trump only won it by 5 points, making it a more competitive state. Demographics are in our favor, but we need voters to actually GO VOTE. Southwest USA, here we come!
So people, listen up. Adopt an election from one of these 14 battlegrounds. Do it today. Post to facebook and twitter and tell your folks "I've adopted a state".
Give money. Go volunteer. Spend this summer and next getting to know the voters in your state by walking door-to-door. Or if you can't take time off, give a day or a week of your salary--which for many of you will be a sizable sum--and consider each day of donations equivalent to a day spent door knocking. If you're actually from one those states, take every single one of your high school friends and all your aunts and cousins out to beers, one at a time, and talk to them about why they need to vote for the Democrat. Listen to their concerns, really listen, and then explain why they (and the whole world) are going to be much better-off if they support the Democrat for Senate.
Now is not the time to be weary. The battle has just begun.
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." -- Robert F. Kennedy
Nine more steps in our Action Plan to Save America coming soon.