Wednesday, September 23, 2020

They’re Gonna F*ck It Up

Most of the Democrats with whom I speak are incredibly nervous about the election. They are having a conversation like David and I had today, and it starts like this.   

“They are going to f*ck it up, aren’t they?”  

We have been assured that the Biden people are out there somewhere.  What makes us nervous is that it feels a little like the Hillary campaign.  Okay, people didn’t vote for her because they didn’t like her. Those of us who know her will never understand how her “crack” staff, many of whom I know and love, managed to position her as humorless and removed from  the people who were supposed to vote for her. Regardless, she won the popular vote which means nothing if you’re not sitting in the transition Oval Office taking over the government. David actually said that Sanders would have been a better choice because there was so much passion in his campaign. There are hardly any people who are passionate about Biden/Harris.

May of the Biden people are people I know and people with whom I worked.  And I can’t get a call back from the campaign. And I am not the only one.  My pal Paige, who has impeccable White House credentials sent the campaign  a thoughtful message with suggestions of Covid friendly events they could do. He never got the courtesy of a response or a call to say thanks.  Another friend was so frustrated he gave the LinconProject $200,000 to be able to speak to people who were smart and grateful for his always important political advice.

Having worked on any number of Presidential campaigns (7), the truth is that you do get very busy, but you can have a volunteer (there are no shortage of Presidential campaign volunteers)

return calls and take information to deliver to the appropriate campaign staffer.  No one, experienced or otherwise wants to be ignored. There are a million ways to make people feel included and all that inclusion means more voters. 

The language and the appeals have to be personal because if they are personal, people will feel invested and they might even feel passionate. Wouldn’t that be nice.  If you have worked on a Presidential campaign you know that the most important task is fundraising.  However, there are different tasks that are also important and can be assigned.  Right now the Trump people are knocking on doors to pitch the President and they are telling people that Biden is sleepy, not very smart, and to old and frail to be the President. None of that is true but since Trump has been framing the Biden campaign as laughable, the truth is irrelevant.  

Speaking of the truth, the President never tells it.  Trump is s racist, a sexist, a bigot, a bully, and a crook. He has no morale core. He doesn’t care about right or wrong, he cares about whatever works to promote how great he is. He is never embarrassed when  he is caught in a lie, he simply talks over the accuser. And that’s what he will do during the debates. He won’t be nice or courteous, he will try to humiliate his opposition and if that doesn’t work, he will try name calling or degradation. There is no level to which he won’t stoop. 

A few years ago I was working with an organization that was trying to figure out how to debate some Republican women who were against Title 9.  It was difficult to explain to right thinking women that they should never explain or try to answer questions posed in such a way - that it would always be a no win. You have to get your message across without the truth. Unfortunately, it takes too much time.  Trying to be respectful doesn’t work with people who have a right wing agenda.  Trump is one of those people, every time he opens his mouth.

Am I frustrated by all of this?  Yes, it is frustrating that people you love and respect say that they are going to vote for Trump because they don’t know what Biden is planning, despite all the plans he has released. No one wants to read plans, they want to be able to hear in 25 words or less what he’s going to do.  That explanation has to be passionate, compelling and brief.

Anyway, it is possible that the Biden people will f*ck it up simply because they can’t imagine anyone would vote for a person who is constantly offensive, but they will if Biden doesn’t give them a reason to vote for him and not just against Trump. We have learned that because there is now a lunatic in the Oval Office.   We’re just sayin’ ....Iris

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Two issues with your post, Iris. And a challenge.

First, the assumptions I question. Then my experience this year, much less frustrating than yours. Then a call to action.

First misconception: " 'They're' gonna eff it up." Why do those worried Dems regard it as someone else's job to win this election?

Second, what makes you think people lack enthusiasm for Biden/Harris? There's enthusiasm and determination in the electorate for giving Trump the boot, based on hundreds of calls and texts I've made (home state & swing states). Passionate revulsion may not be the best way to start an administration, but it's a great way to end one.

Few people were undecided, even back in July. Union members, healthcare workers, postal workers, bus operators, and people with three jobs who lack the time to call other voters are for Joe. A man who owns a big spread on a well-traveled country road in a red area who's voting Dem for the first time wants a lawn sign to encourage others like him.

A middle school principal regretted not having time to volunteer. A retired school-district superintendent wondered why he hadn't changed his registration, given that he thinks he may never again vote for a Republican. GOP voters declare that they would vote for anyone over Trump. One said she'd vote for a comma over Trump. A 47-year-old, who’s voted GOP in every election since he qualified to vote, will vote for a straight Dem ticket. He can't stand Trump, and he can't trust the GOP at all anymore. Some people plan to vote on Election Day so no one can challenge the validity of their votes. "I'd crawl over broken glass" comes up with surprising frequency.

New voters need info about how to vote. Some crawl-over-broken-glass voters need to know they can vote early, in person, for the first time ever. Some wonder when official ballot drop boxes are accessible, and where. Some need to know that it’s not legal, in their state, to drop off a ballot for anyone else.
There's a lot that's new in this election cycle. It differs in every state. One-to-one contact is the best way to make sure people know what to do--and to leave them with a phone number and website address so they can check again once they receive their ballots. This year phone & text are the top one-to-one ways. (Literature drops, too, in many places, by the way. Great for teens and college kids to help win the election. When canvassing door-to-door in 2018, most of my GOTV stops were Not Home, Dropped Lit, so big diff if it’s Lit-Drop-only this year.)

If **we** want to win it, **we** need all hands on deck. If you're not making phone calls in your state and in swing states, don't bother wringing your hands, venting in your Covid pods, and posting on social media. That stuff can’t help voters who agree with you learn how to check their registration status or do early voting if they've never done it before. (In primaries this year, too many ballots did not count because newbies skipped a crucial step or their ballots arrived too late.)

Whether you have no campaign experience or plenty from long ago, step up now. Put in 1 to 14 hours a week for the few weeks left. There's still time to do great good toward a big win. We can still raise $$ at the grassroots level to help pay off poll taxes for Florida voters newly re-enfranchised. We still have time to do voter registration. Millions of phone calls to complete.

**We** need thousands more people at the grassroots level. One volunteer shift a week can make a difference.

Please, Iris, quit wasting time trying to reach campaign staff who aren't calling back. Organize yourself, David, Paige, and everyone you know who's worried about the outcome to contact voters in this year’s way. It's just as effective as door knocking, in my experience. Let me hook you up this week with a campaign in PA, MI, MN, WI, FL, AZ.... I promise I'll call you back.

--Nancy Dunn
In the grassroots since I was 16