Now Or Never?
By Jeff Stark
We hear a lot about "existential" threats these days. Seems like everybody with an environmental opinion is trying to convince us to buy into their particular apocalyptic vision. They point out that there is plenty of information in the historical record leading to the conclusion that civilizations and cultures do indeed disappear. The cause can range from self-destructive politics and policies to nature turned destroyer. Living is a dangerous business, dangerous to each of us and all of us. There is nothing new about existential threats. The only thing that is new is that every day we have more at risk.
It does seem like we are playing in a more dangerous playpen these days. In large part this is a function of human beings becoming more and more capable of creating or capturing elemental forces that exponentially multiply our capability to destroy. Nowhere is that more evident than in our dual role as creator and victim of global warming and its handmaiden global climate change. Day by day what were once far-off in the future exotic environmental threats are now a part of daily life. The deluge of reportage is clear - west coast wildfires, shoreline retreat and collapse, acidification of our oceans, more and more species disappearing into extinction, growing poison that is masquerading as food - all seem to have graduated from being a problem for our kids and grandkids to a daily reminder that we knew what to do and did not get it done.
Now, for us in the US, we are experiencing an acceleration of our environmental catastrophes at the same time we are being bombarded by a political disaster. Trump and his coconspirators have already destroyed much of what this county, and our partners and admirers around the globe, used to be. They have been ruthless and efficient. The only things they haven't been able to destroy are still around because of the rampant and deep seated incompetence that has become their signature.
As I write this we are about a month away from what many of us have been calling the "Now Or Never" election. What we are faced with is an unprecedented and in many ways unbelievable set of circumstances that are almost impossible to comprehend. At this point the polls have Biden beating Trump by nearly 15 points. However, the worst thing we could do now is to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the feeling of being in the lead. These days things change with breathtaking speed and frequency. This can still occur with this election where "now" might change in an instant to "never."
WHAT WE CAN DO
The goal is simple - elect the Democratic Party candidates in all races. If we do not capture the White House, keep the House of Representatives and "flip" the Senate we will not have won the election. Any one of the three institutions - presidency, House or Senate - can block the other two. In this scenario we would not have the power to recover what we have lost during the Trump years.
The strategy is to enroll as many citizens as possible in one or more of the citizen-driven campaigns to win all of this election. There is little reason not to believe that the citizenry is engaged, in some cases enraged, and ready to help move Trump out of the White House. We also need to remember that we actually have two jobs on our voting day. The first is to vote. Not voting is a vote for the opposition. Because of the way our politics is built and managed the opposition has some advantages, particularly voter suppression programs, that make it easier for them to reduce the turnout and voter qualifications and thus reduce our votes. We must remember - not voting is not voting. When we do not vote the opposition is helped.
No matter what happens now, no matter how President Trump's bout with coronavirus is resolved, we have to continue to make a positive effort. If we do not we may have to answer our question "Now Or Never?" The answer will be painfully obvious.
Voting these days is available on many days and in many ways. With that in mind we can start here to plan our vote at planyourvote.com which has step-to-step instructions for every state and territory.|
The National Education Association also provides knowledge and tactics to make your voting successful. Check out their 6 step program which takes its website visitors from registration to convincing friends and family to vote.
The New York Times Presidential Election Calendar provides us the with ability to keep on schedule no matter which state we live in.
Those of us with a desire to take a more active role check out the Flip Blue website. This will give us access to local and national phonebanking operations which will equip and train us to be effective telelphone advocates for getting out the vote.
DO IT NOW