This is a follow-up to the post earlier this week: We Have Agency, Let’s Use It
⭐️ PARTICIPANTS SO FAR
These are the people who expressed interest on that post or followed up with an email. Definitely enough interest to move forward!
*AM in NC
Faithful Lurker + husband
*O. Felix Culpa
Sure Lurkalot (data)
*Woodrow/asim (not available for a few weeks)
*indicates that the person stepped up in today’s thread.
Benw has stepped forward to be the google sheet guy. (Yay, Benw!) I believe one other person offered to help with that, but I don’t recall who that was. So if that was you, please chime in below!
Interested in being part of this? Chime in below. And please mention what state you’re in, and the states you are interested in. And of course say something if your name has been added in error. What follows begins first with an analysis of the political situation, and then the strategy follows from that.
The right wing has discovered key weaknesses in the US governance model and is exploiting these weaknesses to consolidate their own power. Specifically:
- Republican-controlled legislatures are giving themselves the power to override electoral outcomes on unproven allegations of fraud, should Democratic candidates win more votes than Republicans.Their goal is nothing less than “legislative nullification” of elections.
- They are putting in place criminal sentences and fines meant to intimidate and scare away poll workers and nonpartisan administrators.
- They are seeking to restrict access to the ballot, and to make the election process itself inaccessible, especially to voters of color.
- They are working this time at the state, rather than the federal, level. This is consistent with their 50+ year strategy of taking control of state levers of power first, before using them to isolate and neutralize federal governmental institutions. Like it or not, we should recognize that this approach has served them well.
The right wing has assessed that changing voter demographics mean that their program cannot reliably win enough elections to maintain their power, if elections are carried out under the existing governance model.
- Rather than changing their program, they are seeking to legally overthrow the model.
- Their goal is to subvert, rather than participate in, a democratic model of electoral politics in which the state acts as a neutral guarantor that everyone can vote, and every vote counts.
We are faced with a slow-motion, state-based, insurrection carried out by the right wing through the political party that they have come to dominate.
- They are doing this legally and completely out in the open
- They are confident of their success and confident that nobody will make a serious attempt to stop them.
- So far, this assessment has proved correct.
This means that for the left, a response that involves only electoral politics will not be sufficient to stop an enemy which is not playing electoral politics by the old rules any more.
- Instead the left has to add counter-political warfare and civic action to its strategy set.
- It also means that for the left, a focus on national-level politics and federal solutions is inadequate.
- Instead the left has to focus on a fight for power at the state level because that’s where our enemies are operating.
We are asking interested people to:
- collect information
- do research
- establish or renew contacts with other organizations/activists, both on the left and in the center
- and share that information with the blog
What we are not asking people to do is enter data (unless that’s your thing) or organize demonstrations.
- information is power.
- the information we collect can help lead to better choices for what to focus on.
- we can support collective actions to fight abuses.
- it helps fight the discouragement and sense of hopelessness that can spring up in the face of everything that’s going on, and in the face of setbacks at the federal level, such as Supreme Court decisions that have decimated a level playing field.
- we can model optimism, as we fight for the idea that we can make this a better situation if we try.
About what we do with the information:
- Always and everywhere, we want to follow the lead of the local people and organizations, and support their actions when we can.
⭐️ STRATEGY FOR ACTION – USE CROWDSOURCING: GATHER INFORMATION / ORGANIZE / ACT
We do have agency if we are willing to use it.
About the threats: We can begin by creating a spreadsheet where the rows represent states:
There are 23 states where the Republicans hold a trifecta. We can do the research, and then the information can be evaluated for people to determine priorities.
- States where Trump lost.These will be the most critical, they have to get these electoral college (EC) votes back, if they can’t do that they have to flip other states to compensate. That’s a harder lift.
- States where Trump won narrowly.They have to hold onto these.
- States where Trump won bigly.Less likely they will spend resources here rather than elsewhere but we can’t take it for granted.
There are 15 “mixed-fecta” states. We can do the research, and then the information can be evaluated for people to determine priorities.
- States with 1 Democratic-controlled chamber in the Legislature.Sometimes Democrats flake off, ask Joe Manchin
- States with 2 Democratic-controlled chambers in the Legislature.
- States with Democratic governors.
About the threats: We can organize the, with the columns represent threats of the sort described above in the “Analysis” section. We can categorize them by:
- Changes to the process by which a state certifices its election results.
- Administratively or legally remove or threaten election administrators or supervisors.
- Voter disenfranchisement / interference in the voting process
- “Culture war” tactics meant to drive right-wing voters. (These often appear as referenda or ballot initiatives. They can show up anywhere, even in Democratic-trifecta states.)
- Additional categories are possible of course. What might they be?
About the response to the threats: We can collect and organize information on groups that are responding to threats.
- Electoral responses are all well and good, but we need to remember that our enemies are not playing electoral politics any more.
- We need to target the “boots on the ground” (BOTG) groups who specialize in counter-political warfare, civic action, demonstrations, and political media strategies.
⭐️ Note: Capricorn has fleshed out more specifics for things we can do – but there’s only so much information that can be put into a single post, so we will save that for the next one.