How About Checking In With Some Of Your Friends To Make Sure They’re Registered To Vote In The Midterms And Are Actually Going To Vote?
Look, there’s still plenty going on in D.C. even with the Kavanaugh full Senate vote temporarily on hold, as the F.B.I. investigates sexual assault charges against the nominee. And whether the White House is putting limits on who the F.B.I. can talk to and what paths the investigation can take. So we’re not advocating turning your attention away from that story.
- Or away from a new NAFTA deal announced close to midnight last night that now includes Canada (Mexico had already signed on) and now has to be approved by Congress (we’ll have more on that tomorrow). This is no doubt a huge accomplishment for the Trump Presidency. There’s a great and timely story in Canada’s Maclean’s about the contrasting backgrounds and styles of the negotiators who actually hammered out the agreement.
- Or away from the new Supreme Court session starting up today, which features many controversial cases that’ll be heard–with or without Kavanaugh–beginning with one centered on environmental protection.
- Or from Trump telling supporters this week-end how he and brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “fell in love”. He really said that.
OK, maybe turn your attention away from all that just for a second.
There’s a lot of speculation already, but there’s really no way of knowing how the Kavanaugh hearings will play out in the midterms. But Trump’s not taking any chances. He’s already out getting out the vote with tall tales and utter fabrications, insinuating Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein shamefully leaked the correspondence that triggered this whole thing even though Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, asked her not to. Except the reporter who broke the story said he didn’t get it from Feinstein or her staff. Of course, Trump’s spurious account comes complete with one of his patented unflattering impersonations. Click on the photo if you really must watch it.
In a lot of states the window to register to vote in the midterms closes real soon. For instance–according to rockthevote.org–in key states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas the deadline to register is October 9, a little over a week from now.
And the question we want to ask is how well do you really know your friends?
Because we didn’t know ours as well as we thought, at least as far as their level of engagement with politics and elections goes.
And we don’t mean our Trump supporter friends. We’ve focused way too much effort on arguing with them and trying to get them to change their minds. They’re all fired up. They’re all registered. They’re all gonna vote.
It’s the folks we never really gave much thought to, because we thought they were just like us, because they’re standing next to us at rallies and angry about the same kinds of things. But we’ve found a surprising number of them are completely not engaged with the political process, even though they may live their lives following generally liberal or progressive principles.
Example: one person we talked to in Texas recently, who’d participated in protests to stop immigrant children from being separated from their parents, didn’t even know there was a crucial election in their state this year: “What are you talking about? There’s no election this year. Trump’s not running…” So of course they didn’t know when the midterms are or who is running. We hope that’s all been straightened out by now, but we’re gonna check again in the next couple of days just to be sure.
And to be sure, this was a total wake-up call for us. You might end up surprised too. But we’re glad it happened because we started asking around and found a surprising number of people in the same boat. Uncertain about the midterms and unaware about who’s running. Or (in New York), deciding they’re going to vote for someone–Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for instance–who doesn’t represent their district. So what are they gonna do when they show up to the polling place and find her name’s not on the ballot?
Look, people don’t like to be ridiculed and they don’t like to be told what to do. So be gentle. But be firm.
At worst (we hope), you’ll have a nice chat with a friend you might not have checked in with for a while.
Meanwhile, in the background, you can be serenaded by Willie Nelson, and his new song “Vote ‘Em Out”, which he wrote specifically for Texas Democratic Candidate for Senator Beto O’Rourke, who’s battling Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. It’s the first time in the performer’s 85 years that he’s participated in a benefit concert promoting a particular candidate.
Here’s the song right here:
Three resources before we leave you today:
- Rock the Vote, which has specific registration requirements for each state. If you have some extra time once you’ve got your friends covered, you might even want to volunteer with them.
- Open Progress, which has a really easy way to volunteer called “Text Troop”, where–right now– you’d help encourage citizens to register to vote through text messaging.
- Vote Riders, which tells you what I.D. you’ll need to bring with you when you go to vote, and whom to contact if you have trouble. Very often the I.D. you need to register will be different than what you need to bring with you to vote.