It’s always a terrible idea to write about politics. But this is not really about politics, in the sense that it’s not about policy or content. It’s about participation. And not even general participation. This is a call to all people who are going to pull the lever or push the button for Hillary Clinton. If you’re not, please see below. *
Okay, Democratic ladies and gentlemen: There are 50+ days until the election, and if you’re me you have escalating acid reflux/night sweats/baked goods dependency. These are scary times, and I’m not even just talking about the other candidate. Things are pretty screwy. There’s a prevailing air of instability, for example Dr. Oz was the lead hard news political story yesterday. The precedent for this election cycle is that there hasn’t been one. Fine.
I just checked, because facts are actually important, and there are exactly 53 days till the election. It doesn’t take a genius or even Matt Lauer to know that this is going to be a lot about turnout. Remember Brexit? Remember how low progressive turnout was because no one believed it could happen? Well, they lost and we’re up next.
Here is my entreaty: Make yourself uncomfortable. What does that mean? It means do more than you want to. Push past your comfort zone: canvass even if you’re an introvert, call people even if you hate the phone, give money instead of going to sushi one night, get into it with your scary GOP relations. Do whatever you can- plus a little more. This is not a what-color-is-your-parachute glorification of our human potential! My decidedly unscientific assessment is that discomfort in action what this election is going to take. If you’re just at home worrying, that is NOT participation. Neither are your Facebook posts, people! In fact, for every Facebook post, please do an hour of volunteering! Facebook is the seductive opposite of action, because it seems like you did something. It simulates activity. You didn’t do anything, ok? Unless every single person you know on social media is a swing voter, you did nothing.
This weekend I am going to one of my best friend’s weddings, which happens to be located deep in Pennsylvania, in the swingy part of a swing state (not in that key party sense, I don’t think). I am going to canvass with some friends while we are there. This makes me very uncomfortable. I’m not scared of canvassing, but the odds strongly suggest I will have a terrible hangover, and the event is at 9am AT A SUPERMARKET. Imagine the beer sweats. Imagine the smell of prepared foods and cat litter. Who wants to do that? This is the kind of sacrifice I mean.
So I’m begging you, don’t let yourself off the hook. We need your vote, yes, but we also need your PRE-vote. The next time Robby Mook asks you to phone bank, and you think, God, that sounds terrible and also I still haven’t finished Stranger Things, do it anyway. Make yourself uncomfortable. If everyone does something that freaks them out just a little, I think we’ve probably got this thing. So let’s get nervous! And then you can watch Netflix after November 9th with the great comfort that the only Demogorgon in power is fictional.
*Election day has been moved to November 9th.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place