The Pod Save America guys talked last night about how much impact our framing can have, and does have, on this election.
They say that if we speak and act as though Trump can and will steal the election, that actually helps make it easier for him to do exactly that.
They say that all the talk about what we fear helps normalize the very things that we fear, and that enables the Trump and the other Republicans in their efforts. Are they right? I don’t know. But that makes sense to me, and I have decided that I am going to try to follow their advice.
Recent events makes it more important than ever for us to do everything we can to stop them. We have John Lewis, and now Ruth Bader Ginsburg, counting on us to pick up their fight.
They also said that 50% of people under 30 are not planning to vote. I can’t think of even one Republican in office or in this administration that is not despicable. They have to go. So if you’re not already helping, or if you are but think you can do more, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
This came in from Avalie, via TaMara. I’ll add other vote protection options if you add them in the comments. Plus we have a ton of voter protection options on the What We Can Do list.
Volunteer to protect the vote in key swing states.
Protect Our Vote, a project of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is recruiting individuals to staff voter protection hotlines, volunteer as poll observers, and sign up to be election workers during Early Vote and on Election Day. All training is provided, and no law degree or other experience is required. You can sign up here.
Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight 2020 is building voter protection teams with Democratic state parties and local allies across the country to protect the right to vote. You can sign up to volunteer here.
You can also sign up to help the Biden campaign with voter protection efforts as a poll observer here.
Help inspire others – please tell us in the comments what you are doing to help with this effort.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
Checked Nate Silver’s POTUS forecast today and Ohio is blue on his Winding Path to Victory graphic for the first time this election season.
I want to see their numbers on 50% of da yoots won’t vote. I have been looking through Twitter and a lot of my younger acquaintances are PISSED. Anecdote not data yadda yadda yadda but I wonder where that comes from.
Also: 50% youth turnout would be HUGE.
Thoughts and prayers:
@Yutsano: It was just above 50% in 2008. In 2016, it was at 46%. (Interestingly, it was only 45% when Obama won in 2012 and Bill Clinton actually did the best at 52% in 1992).
@Mary G: Has thoughts and prayers become the new “bless your heart” ?
Hello! This is for you! Slightly off-topic (although it’s election-related): today’s Electoral Vote blog had a detailed, knowledge-based debunking of the freakout about electoral vote shenanigans… and I immediately thought of you, because of your comments yesterday.
Here it is: https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2020/Pres/Maps/Sep25.html#item-2
To the jackals in general: I’m thrilled to see other folks today who’re boosting my Electoral Vote signal of yesterday. Thank you! EV can be a really good resource for us.
Note: Electoral Vote’s original, central purpose is voter registration, and particularly voter registration for overseas voters (servicemembers especially). They have voter reg. info on the banner at the top of their front page.
@Mary G: Imprecatory prayers and nasty thoughts
Was his neighbor nearby, by chance? “Medical emergency” could involve shovel-to-pate scenario.
Excellent article to send to anyone you know (especially younger people) who are considering becoming poll workers this November. Lots of links and videos of young people and their reasons for stepping up.
WaPost: Older poll workers dropped out because of covid-19. Millennials are stepping up to replace them.
[In Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties have enough Democratic election judges now; they are still hunting for GOP ones, though.]
I welcome people taking up their civic duties and taking voting more seriously. It becomes habit-forming. Welcome, all.
Yeah, unfortunately Twitter =/= real life. College and college-educated younger people (who are generally overrepresented on Twitter) tend to be a lot more politically engaged, but that’s only about 30-40% of the youth vote. The rest tend to be pretty tuned-out.
@Mary G: Did his neighbor find him and beat the crap out of him again?
I wonder how the senator will feel if he is seen by non-board certified medical personnel? (or people who made up their own certification)
Think it was the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS kids who permanently flipped the script on thotsnprars.
That was a great PSA episode. Start at 10:15.
The greatest threat to our side is apathy/despair and turning off infrequent/swing voters.
The framings they suggest for encouraging, not
• Emphasize our power to stop Trump, not Trump’s power to stop us.
• Emphasize “swearing in” new leaders, rather than “electing new leaders.”
• Point out that the US has ALWAYS upheld election results, even during the Civil War.
• Trump doesn’t decide whether or not he leaves office, WE DO!!
There goes half of BJ content.
I agree with this. It does normalize the idea, gives listeners the idea that Trump is more powerful than he actually is, and frightens and traumatizes, or — worse — inspires the worst element among us.
Not taking that bait. Why amplify a ridiculous message?
GOTV and make the Blue Wave as lopsided (and early-arriving) as possible so that even Trump can’t lie his way past it.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@JCJ: It’s Ron, his father, not Rand, the Jr. Senator from KY.
@UncleEbeneezer: Thanks for that.
I always think of PSA as Public Service Announcement, not Pod Save America.
@Baud: Yup. I think it repels readers, too. Sure does with me.
@trollhattan: Uh, the news is about RON Paul, not RAND Paul. RON Paul is 85, so could be anything.
@JCJ: It says Ron Paul. I think it’s the father.
Unforch, it was Pappy Ron Paul, not the hideous spawn.
Not Sen. Rand Paul. His father, former Rep. and nutty-as-the-proverbial-fruitcake Ron Paul.
Oh, dad. Was he selling gold or something?
@Yutsano: If it were over 50% it would be an all-time record. The previous maximum for 18-29 was 2008, when it was a fraction under 50%:
Maybe. News report said he was speaking ‘on the economy’. Is he a gold bug?
Used to treasure Charles Pierce’s Crazy Uncle Liberty tales. Avuncular racist still racist.
@germy: Damn. That’s scary.
@Baud: And every other progressive blog/website too.
@Matt McIrvin: The census numbers I linked to above are different.
I can’t think of any other group of people in any other endeavor in life who believes the key to success is obsessing over how many different ways there are to lose.
Seem to recall he hated the Federal Reserve with the zeal of a libertarian, and had a complicated story he would tell about what one could do with a mercury dime, today. Selling GOLD! would be in his wheelhouse–whether he did so I have no idea.
Dad of the year, to be sure.
Not a fan, but jesus, that youtube is scary.
In other news, my governor Ralph Northam and his wife have tested positive for COVID. He’s a doctor, so I’m pretty sure he was being careful, not like these anti-mask governors. So that’s kinda scary.
Well, it’s gotta be the right 50%. There are a shitload of MAGA Trumpers under 30 with their big trucks and Trump flags that they swapped out for the Confederate flags. Not all under 30 year olds are woke BLM marchers in places like Seattle.
James E Powell
What Trump, Barr, and Republicans all over the nation are trying to do is a crime against America. We have to talk about it, scream about it, call it out wherever and whenever we see them doing it. If we do not, then we allow them to characterize it. The press/media are more than willing to help them.
Does anyone think it would have been a good idea to keep quiet about what DeJoy was doing to the Postal Service?
There are millions of young MAGAs, but every bit of evidence says that higher youth turnout helps Dems.
And then there’s the extremely online and rightwing under-30s who troll comment sections and harass women on social media. Racists and reactionaries.
@James E Powell:
There’s a difference between “This is wrong!” and “They’re going to succeed!”
@Baud: I would argue about how unfortunate that is. Politics Twitter has some real gems, but vast swathes of it are a fractionally less-shit Facebook.
@Mary G: Eh. Better late than never.
I was thinking about signing up to be a poll worker (in Georgia), but you have to commit to start at 6 am and finish… who knows when? I have to teach a class (online) 8-9:15 am on election day, so that won’t work. Though I’ve read that there have been tons of people in Georgia signing up and it looks like they are close to their goal of 10,000 new poll workers. At least one stadium in Atlanta will be used for voting, and the Univ. Georgia is using an arena on campus for voting.
I just clicked on the link above and signed up to be a poll watcher on election day; I’m assuming I can teach my class and then do poll watching. Thanks for the links!
J R in WV
All of you guys are mistaking former congressman Ron Paul with current Sen. Rand Paul, who is the guy who got beat up by his disabled neighbor, and was an eye doctor who created his own accreditation group. Ron is Rand’s dad, and the inventor of the right wing libertarian scam his son is currently working.
Both despicable, but Rand isn’t as old as Ron, so Ron is more likely to have had a medical emergency while on a live stream.
This is actually not unfortunate, on the whole.
A lot of the Twitter-left people I know are pissed off, but mostly blame Democrats for being deficient in some way.
James E Powell
I believe the first is required; I never suggested the second.
@J R in WV: Yep. In hindsight you could tell who on the early-2000s “left” would go alt-right or anti-anti-Trump-curious by identifying the ones who were deeply interested in Ron Paul as the standard-bearer of anti-imperialism.
@Baud: In other words, blaming oneself for bad outcomes (e.g., “why didn’t Ginsburg retire when Obama was president?”, “why didn’t Hillary have better email practices?”, “why didn’t Obama go for single payer?”). Maybe it comes from living a society in which the actions and motives of women, non-whites and Democrats (the party of women, minorities and girly men) are questioned as a default. It’s like battered spouse syndrome.
For the last few months I’ve had terrible trouble linking to YouTube videos on my phone (not just at BJ — everywhere). But this is worth the ugly naked link, I think, both for the lulz and out of deep appreciation that we dodged this particular bullet in 2008.
@Matt McIrvin: That’s something that Mnemosyne noted.
@James E Powell:
I interpreted “all the talk about what we fear” in the OP as referring to the way this blog and others too often express our fears, not that we shouldn’t talk about risks or things that are wrong.
@Hoodie: Yes, I often feel that analogy is apt. Since I started noticing it in 2016, I have been struck many times with some of the ways we talk about ourselves, and how it’s become second nature.
@trollhattan: Good on them.
@JoyceH: I saw the it was an aide who was working in or frequently in their private quarters.
I swear there’s something about people we know where the brain tells you they are safe. As if the virus cares whether you know someone or not.
@Baud: The source I linked to was attempting to correct the Census numbers for non-response and over-reporting bias. In any event they’re fairly small corrections.
The most interesting thing there is what a huge outlier 2018 was, for a midterm. Turnout in the 2018 midterm was comparable to that in presidential elections in the 1990s. COVID is probably going to affect this year’s numbers somehow but if early voting is any indication we could be heading for another monster year.
@JCJ: My comment was already covered above so never mind.
@Matt McIrvin: Either way, if we can get 50% youth turnout this year, we should be in good shape.
@James E Powell: I know you didn’t. But the second is what the Pod Save America guys were talking about, and what we started out talking about in this thread.
All conversations evolve, I think Baud was just closing the circle, getting back to the original point.
@H.E.Wolf: But, but, but!!11ONE!! He’s an evil genius God-Emperor!!1
Thanks very much. A good read.
I volunteered to be a poll worker here in Colorado, but was told in a reply a couple weeks later that they had a huge number of volunteers (yay), and they didn’t need any more help. I’ll have to find something else.
@SiubhanDuinne: WTF? Did she really make this video AND allow it to be posted? Did no one try to stop her? Can I get some of her stash?
@WaterGirl: When people talk about some activity they did and the COVID precautions and they say “I felt totally safe”, something about that just makes me tense up. How you felt doesn’t matter!
@Mary G: No info if its Corona-related. If so my thought , as always is, “You keep missing the real target!”
Yes, Trump has turned me into an awful person.
And I still blame a lot of the mindset of the Bernie bubble on the fact that he was the second choice of the Paulites after Rand Paul dropped out in 2016, and they brought their tactics of “all who oppose The Master must be destroyed, and are dead to us forever” to the Democratic side.
I keep remembering one comment I saw on a blog somewhere, probably around 2004, in which someone said they knew Ron Paul would just completely shred American society as President but if it was what it took to take down the American global empire, he wasn’t sure it wouldn’t actually be worth the trade. Well, he pretty much got his wish.
Todays entry in the annals of late stage capitalism.
You know, if you pitched the idea to me I would have said your problem would be how to acquire a reliable source of used condoms, but they figured that part out.
@SiubhanDuinne: One minute was enough.
@Martin: When Vietnam is our example of late-stage capitalism, what’s left?
@Baud: Two thirds. It would eliminate my ranting about it too.
The Pod guys may have covered this, but since it’s not called out in the post, I’ll say that one of the scummy tactics we shouldn’t get drawn into is trumpistas trying to normalize the idea that the Supreme Court has something to do with the certifying the presidential election.
My idea for a non-amplifying response is:
And if it’s an elected official, maybe add “I would think someone in your position would know that.”
@Matt McIrvin: Fascism.
I have tried to volunteer for several things here in PA, but nobody ever gets back to me. Probably because I live in Beaver County, a total lost cause for Biden, I fear. Plus, it’s not youth (there aren’t many of those here) and minorities (only about 7% of the population) who aren’t registered to vote here. From what I can see from working with the local Dem committee, we’re doing fine in those demographics. There are thousands of non-registered people here, but they are mostly white men who, if they actually registered and voted, would make for a Trump landslide in my county. I’m really not up for getting them voting information right now, so I have settled for writing postcards.
@SiubhanDuinne: Oh my…
No questions asked!
@Redshift: In the past few days, both Glenn Greenwald and Mitch McConnell made a statement about how the election was going to be peaceful and aboveboard that casually slipped in the notion that the Supreme Court was going to pick the winner.
@germy: JFC that is crazy. He’s a nutjob but that is scary AF. Hopefully he makes some kind of recovery…
And they (the Electoral Vote blog co-writers) are witty as well as knowledgeable! They may be a little snarky for some tastes, but most of the time I appreciate it.
@Redshift: I LOVE WHAT YOU WROTE. Dismissive, yet civil.
My idea for a non-amplifying response is:
And if it’s an elected official, maybe add “I would think someone in your position would know that.”
Does this mean that more we can get people talking about Biden packing the courts, the more likely it will be that it happens? Of course, we should wait until after the election to start the chatter, so as not to poke the hornets’ nest.
@Matt McIrvin: Yup. Lindsey Graham, too. It’s clearly being pushed from the sources of GOP talking points.
That’s an interesting question. I don’t tweet, but you should tweet that to the Pod Save America guys and see what they say.
Actually, yes. The problem with our side doing it is that we’re impatient, so we quickly get mad at Dems when they don’t act and commit to acting right away. We also don’t recognize that most of the GOP’s bluster actually doesn’t go anywhere. They promise 100 things in order to accomplish 10. We would never accept that failure rate among Democrats.
James E Powell
I didn’t listen to the podcast, but I had the impression that the message was “stop talking about this because then it will happen.” There is a line – not sure it’s a fine line – between “we are doomed!” and “we are doomed if we don’t take action!”
I don’t want people to be afraid and cowering in some metaphorical corner. But they need to be more afraid than they were in 2016 when people were saying “no matter who wins, we’ll be okay.”
@Redshift: That attitude has been a part of American politics for a long time, though the level varies over time. FB amplifying rage and “engagement” has made it worse, of course.
It’s important to have committed activists, but it’s also important not to lose sight of the fact that we (effectively) have a 2-party system and working to change the policies of the parties is generally more effective than both-sidesing issues or being too pure to support the more sensible one.
@WaterGirl: I give credit to the person here (whose nym has slipped my mind) who taught the tactic of dealing with wingnut relatives by playing dumb and asking them to explain their latest outrage, because once they get past the talking points, they almost inevitably can’t.
Also, I was on a training for Indivisible’s anti-disinformation project last night. I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to devote to it, but it was really useful.
@Redshift: I think it was Mnemosyne, who is missed.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: We would definitely never accept that failure rate among Dems.
And Mnemosyne gets a second mention in this thread.
I’m okay with “they’ll try but we won’t let them,” but I don’t see any reason to accept (let alone spread) the narrative that they will be able to keep power even if they lose the actual election. They’re not supermen, and there are more of us than there are of them.
@James E Powell: UncleEbeneezer linked to it at #13, when he said this:
This was separate from their “we only have 6 weeks left, everybody needs to take action” segment. They were actually talking about how our language is really important here, and that our language confers power to them that they do not have. That we do not want them to have.
Think about giving it a listen. I found it compelling.
The Moar You Know
@germy: That is such a classic presentation of a stroke that it should be used in medical schools. The public would frankly benefit as well – THIS IS WHAT A STROKE LOOKS LIKE! He goes aphasic within a couple of seconds and the entire left side of his face sags – left eye looks bigger, left side of mouth closes.
I also note he looks pretty red in the face from the start of the video. I’m not sure if that’s normal for him or not.
@SiubhanDuinne: it’s like one of those child stars who was adored and then had a break with reality when spot light wasn’t on him/her anymore. Starved for attention again but so fucked up. Probably off her meds or too many meds.
I think I read awhile back Todd had filed for divorce
*yep, divorce final 3/2020. She originally learned he was divorcing her by email.
@Redshift: I’ll sign up and see what they say. I’m not on social media, so I won’t be able to implement their tactics directly.
But if it seems good, as I expect it will be, I would happily feature it here as something We Can Do. thanks.
@Another Scott: True, but I feel like the Paulite trademark (which we heard a lot about in GOP primaries) of “game the system to let us technically declare victory but win nothing” is a more distinct animal.
@geg6: I too live in a red county. I suspect that many of the white working class men I see at the local store don’t vote, and it’s probably just as well. But in a close race, blue votes in red counties like yours and mine add up and can make a difference statewide. I hope you and the rest of the Pennsylvania Democrats can deliver PA’s 20 electoral votes to Biden.
@Redshift: I believe they did address that, but can’t remember their actual words. They also advised that Dems framing about the SCOTUS hearings should be 100% about the RESULT (overturning ACA, Roe, Climate Bills etc.). Don’t take the bait about the Nominee’s character/history. Voters get turned off by the latter but are very much in agreement with the former framings. We have recent research showing this is the case.
Both confidence and doubt are contagious.
My father refused to vote cause he thought that would keep him from getting jury duty. Unfortunately they soon switched to driver license lists.
I see that President Obama has made a second round of endorsements, and one is of Raphael Warnock, in the GA special Senate election. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a recent poll showing Warnock moving into second place, behind Loeffler, ahead of Collins. Collins and Loeffler keep trashing each other. A very divisive campaign for Georgia republicans, who deserve it.
I guess Bush v. Gore never happened?
@Kent: Once in modern history. Maybe in all of the country’s history?
And this only happens if a state is close enough to demand a recount AND that is critical to the outcome of the election AND the standards for the recount are ambiguous. This isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely.
Trump seems to believe that if he feels aggrieved, he can demand that the Supreme Court declare him the winner, and that is not how this works.
Thank you for this. It is so clear that the best possible outcome for Trump is for the opposition to pick up and amplify all the excrement he’s trying to flood the field with. “Oh no! What if he doesn’t agree to leave!”
If he doesn’t agree to leave, the Secret Service picks him up and carries him out, kicking and screaming. And there is no way he’s going to give us the satisfaction of watching that.
Strictly speaking, he doesn’t leave office, the office leaves him on January 20.
There is absolutely nothing about the presidency that is geographically dependent. Trump can be an uninvited trespasser in the White House while Biden can be president from his Delaware basement.
I think they are gearing up for simultaneous Bush v Gore scenarios in multiple states if necessary.
I agree, it’s a stretch, and not constitutional. But neither was Bush v. Gore.
They won’t repeat the whole hanging chads fiasco or probably even recounts. It will be arguments about the validity of mail-in ballots and the courts will be ruling on which ballots to count in the first place.
But yes, that sort of election stealing pretty much depends on having an election that is close enough to steal.
@Kent: Make then work for it. Don’t concede the point. It really isn’t that complicated.
In response to how to think and verbally address this, I can offer two quotes:
“worriers spend a lot of time shovelling smoke”
“Fear is faith inverted.”
I signed up with the Biden campaign and they got back to me within a day with more info. I’m going to try to act as a poll observer in Arizona for election day or early voting or both–closest swing state to me here in California.
Oh, I agree. I’m just saying that if I’m a Republican and someone tells me that SCOTUS is not involved in elections, my instant comeback would be to laugh in their face and say “Right. So I guess Bush v Gore never happened?”
@Kent: Not saying Bush v. Gore never happened. We are saying that talking like they may decide the election gives them power they shouldn’t have. Power we don’t want them to have.
We don’t have to boil the water for them and then jump into it.
@Kent: They will try, i have no doubt of that. But we do not have to gather the kindling for them, or talk about how big a fire they could build, in order to burn our democracy to the ground.
@Jess: It does. Keep in mind that Kamala was the first candidate to go there, so she’s already on board.
@Kent: Yep…that’s the kind we have around here – and they yell “Baby Killer” when they pass my car with the outdated Warren sticker on it…
@WaterGirl: I think that this maybe a philosophic or psychological divide that cannot be bridged.
@SiubhanDuinne: I looked at the Palin video. Wow. I know it’s not good to make fun of mentally disturbed people, but I could not help but think of the phrase, “skipping without a rope.”
@Omnes Omnibus: Can’t say I didn’t try.
Completely, completely, completely disagree with the idea that we should not voice that Trump cheats and will try to steal the election. It reminds me of the endless Democratic habit of pulling punches, and being fearful rather than punching hard. And this message that Trump cheats should be repeated constantly.
It should not be accompanied with a message that he can get away with it, which is a mistake and spawns anxiety and dejection. It should be accompanied with the message that he will not get away with it, because we are prepared and will crush his effort.
Therefore, when his lying cheating starts on election night, the populace has been trained to reject it as lies and cheating. Part of what will make Trump’s scam work is shock that it is happening, and uncertainty about what to do. This message conditions the proper response in advance, like self defense training such that when a criminal trys to mug you, you react instinctively with the level of violence necessary.
So shreek the message constantly that he is a lying cheat, and that we will defeat that too. To echo another great line when dealing with daunting adversity, we shall overcome.
And stop bringing a knife to a gun fight.
It reads like you are disagreeing with previous comments, but I am pretty sure that is what most of us are saying in this thread.
@WaterGirl: Exactly. Don’t credit Trump with power he does not have.
Are the Pod Save America people right about younger people not voting? Where is this from?
@TheTruffle: It appears to be true. Check out comments #4, #25, and #37.
If we could get more than that 50% to vote, we could blow them out of the water. Let’s try to change that.
Just did text banking. I really hope it isn’t a fool’s errand. I admit I am losing hope in the future of this country.
@TheTruffle: It’s up to us now to defend our democracy, particularly in the next several weeks before all the votes are cast and counted and we have a winner in a fair election.
Thanks for text banking. We are all tired. For me it’s about no regrets. No matter what the outcome, did I do everything I could?
@WaterGirl: I hear you. I just can’t shake the feeling that the country will go the way of, say, Czechoslovakia. Or Yugoslavia.
And sometimes, I really wonder if we are better off going our separate ways.
I don’t know what you mean by that, but I’m not giving up on democracy.
@WaterGirl: What I mean is: certain states (say, coastal states) breaking away from the rest of the country.
The contempt for blue states is now very clear. What is the point of staying (and paying federal taxes that go elsewhere) if we aren’t considered to be “real” Americans?
@TheTruffle: the idea of leaving the Union is definitely part of the discussion in Blue Left Coast. We don’t need them, but they definitely need us. Personally, I tend toward ‘fuck em’.
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: No offense, but I will believe it when I see it.