Progressives … Stacey Abrams does not owe you jack $#*!…
I had a recent conversation with a friend and active politico. My friend said “If you talk to Stacey Abrams she needs to come to a church in this community. She can’t forget her base. She has to encourage people to come to the polls because you know folks don’t vote unless asked.” I am not sure why she thought team Abrams would call me. More importantly, I think we need to change this antiquated idea that the party nominee must earn your vote. It is your party. That is your nominee. Why is this even a discussion?
My friend is not alone. Many progressives still believe a candidates’ main job is to get out the vote, more commonly known in political circles as GOTV. In a primary election my friend would be right. In this general election against the republican nominee we do not have time for this “she took my vote for granted” talk. The primary is over. She has your vote and YOU have the responsibility to get other people to vote for her too.
In 2018, the era of Trump, the era of social media, the era of video phones and phone apps the role of candidate and voter should swap. If Georgia Democrats want to ride this #bluewave they must change their way of thinking. We can no longer afford to wait until the candidate excites us and personally asks for our vote. We have to take responsibility for exciting other people about our candidate and running to the campaign to donate or volunteer.
During the 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders did not know if he would be in the race long enough to make it to Super Tuesday. When Sanders decided to campaign in Georgia he hired me to open three state offices. Sanders’ supporters were so excited and energized that our biggest problem was holding off the volunteers long enough to rent office space and get the internet turned on. The energy of that campaign was amazing. Having more volunteers than I knew what to do with was a good problem to have. If we are serious about the blue wave then the question for team Abrams should be, “how do I canvass my own neighborhood for voters next Saturday?” rather than “when is she coming to visit MY church?”
In the Georgia Governor’s race between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams the candidates are as far apart as two candidates can be. There should not be a need to encourage, excite, or otherwise energize Democrat voters. Kemp’s reputation as Secretary of State or that ridiculous Jake commercial should be enough to have Dems clamoring at the opportunity to prevent him from becoming Governor.
Come on progressives, we really don’t have time to play games. No matter what criticism you can have about Abrams, from a progressives’ point-of-view, she is 1,000 times better than the alternative on issues progressives stand for. Those progressives who are tuned into politics on CNN, MSNBC, via social media or even those that catch every episode of Bill Maher or The Daily Show, today I am talking to you! If you understand how taxes work and why local elections matter then you understand how important this election will be.
We know it takes money to run campaigns. Donate without being asked or reminded. We know volunteers power people to get to the polls. Round up the kids and take one Saturday to participate in history. We know every vote counts. We should already have a list of at least ten people you will personally take responsibility for ensuring they vote.
Let us be real. Stacey Abrams is running against THE CURRENT SECRETARY OF STATE – they guy who is responsible for the voting process. She is running against the guy who has horrifically mismanaged voting records. She is up against the guy who has access to cheat if he so chooses. We cannot just vote. We have to vote in record numbers to win back the Governor’s seat.
Let’s cut the crap. Stacey Abrams does not owe us anything – she has done her part. She has put herself up to run. She has built an infrastructure. She won the primary. She has raised money to get her this far. Now it’s your turn as voters, donors, and volunteers. Simply voting is no longer the standard for civic participation for progressives.
Story of Rosie the Roomba
Rosie is the name of my iRobot vacuum cleaner. Rosie is named after the housekeeper on The Jetsons and I love her. She has been the family pet since December 25, 2016. However, it took me a minute to get used to the NEW way to vacuum. Normally, you unwind the cord and find a plug. Then you move a heavy machine back in forth for 10 -15 minutes until the floor is clean. You re-wrap the cord and put the machine away. ROSIE was different. Rosie runs for about an hour. I don’t have to unwrap a cord for Rosie but I do have to take 1 minute to set up the room. I lift the curtains and move the chairs where the kids eat so she can really clean the space. It took me a while to change the way I thought of vacuuming. Rosie is easier by a long shot but she required I change my participation in the vacuuming process. Rosie takes longer and requires me to move things before we start – I didn’t have to do that before. I had to change the way I thought about vacuuming. If I can break a lifelong habit, accept the longer process of vacuuming, and change how I view the process of cleaning a floor … then progressive voters can do the same in this election.
Happy voting (and donating, and volunteering, and vacuuming).