Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. ~Albert Einstein
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and you create what you will. ~George Bernard Shaw
There’s no sugarcoating it: right now, we’re in triage mode.
Every night there’s a new terrible awful. Every morning there’s a new tweet. And we’re hard at work to elect people who are willing to work for constituents instead of catering to whomever can provide the thickest padding for their pockets.
Meanwhile, we’re trying to actually live lives, feed families, and do the work that we’d do if the country wasn’t falling apart at the seams.
It’s a busy time, no?
But sometimes, I like to dream.
I like to dream about what it WILL BE like when we’re all done. When the people that should be in office… are in office. When we can throw off this dark cloud and finally stand in the sunshine, arm in arm, nodding and saying “Well, look at that. Sonofabitch. We really did it.”
What does that look like, for you?
For me, it means a country where people don’t have to go to GoFundMe to beg for money for lifesaving healthcare. Where people who are hit by gunfire at a country music concert in Las Vegas don’t have to worry they’ll go bankrupt because they needed too many operations, or because they’ll need special equipment or care for the rest of their lives. Where people who have children with complex medical issues – or with “simple” ones like diabetes and autism – don’t have to battle insurance companies every month, or pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to get the best care for their child… every single year of their lives.
It means an educational system that’s truly public, and truly meant for the benefit of all of us, not just for the kids of the most powerful. Where kids are able to get a good, quality, safe education in any neighborhood in any zip code. Where kids of all abilities are able to find the services that they need to be the most productive and best people they can be – in any school district in the country. Where students aren’t so saddled with debt that they can’t even envision their future, let alone muster the energy to go out and grab it. Where public school teachers don’t have to resort to begging donors to fund school projects, and parents aren’t expected to supply pencils, and glue, and construction paper.
It means a country where you don’t have to worry that you’ll get shot if you go to the grocery store. Or a concert. Or your kid’s school play. Or a Moms Demand meeting.
It means a country where your retirement years are spent calling grandkids and planning trips, not scrimping and saving and shutting off the heat in March so that you can afford your monthly medications. Where you don’t have to make gut wrenching decisions between health and financial security – do you blow through your savings to get the chemo you need to live a few months longer …. or do you die sooner and leave your family with a roof over their heads?
It means a country that looks out for all of us. Not just some of us.
But for far too long, only “some of us” – the wealthy and powerful – participated in our government. And they created the system that works for them. Lower taxes mean they can afford whatever healthcare and education they want. Lower regulation means their companies can play a little faster and a little looser – boosting their bottom line, and their power, and their ability to have whatever they want whenever they want it. They don’t need to worry about healthcare costs, or public schools, or college debt.
But we do.
Can we change the direction things are going in? Yes, almost certainly. But for our vision of what our country could be to become reality, all of us need to participate.
And all of us need to dream.
We’re so used to seeing a broken system hobble along, that we just seem to think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not. It shouldn’t be. It doesn’t have to be.
Case in point – before the ACA, being denied insurance coverage because you had a pre-existing condition was “just the way it is.”
It was “just the way it is” until we changed it.
We can have big dreams. And working together, we can make those dreams reality.
So get out there and dream about the world that you want to create.
And let’s get to work to make those dreams come true.
Tuesday: Call Your Senator!
Today, a number of Senators are meeting with Judge Kavanaugh: Senator Claire McCaskill, Maine Republican Susan Collins, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Judiciary Committee Democrats Patrick Leahy (VT), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Mazie Hirono (HI).
I’ve already called Senator McCaskill’s office this morning to leave a message that she should not vote to confirm until all of his documents from his White House tenure have been reviewed. You should do the same – especially if your Senator is one of the folks listed above.
Script: Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent at ____. I’m calling to ask the Senator to vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation until such time as all of the records from his tenure at the White House can be reviewed. There are serious questions as to whether he perjured himself during his previous confirmation hearing, and the records that are being withheld would reveal whether or not he had. It’s inconceivable to me that someone who was considering someone for a promotion would not look at evidence that would determine whether that person had lied to them before. This is a lifetime appointment, and should not be rushed like this.
Wednesday: Encourage Senator Collins to Vote No on Kavanaugh!
Nothing speaks to a Republican politician like cold hard cash.
So let’s speak in a language they understand!
Senator Susan Collins of Maine is a critical vote in the Judge Kavanaugh fight. She’s not up for election in 2018 – but she will be up for reelection in 2020. So some brilliant folks have decided to give her an incentive to vote no on Kavanaugh. How? By starting a crowdfunding page that will fund her Democratic opponent in 2020… but only IF she votes yes on Kavanaugh. If she votes no on Kavanaugh, your credit card won’t even be charged.
So let’s head on over to Crowdpac and encourage Susan Collins to do the right thing by funding her opponent if she does the wrong thing.
Gosh I love incentives…
Thursday: Hands Off SNAP!
We haven’t discussed the Farm Bill recently, so here’s a refresher. Two versions of the bill passed. The Senate bill – a bipartisan bill – strengthens SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program). The House bill would take food assistance away through a variety of cuts. In overgeneralized terms: Senate bill = good. House bill = bad. Right now, there’s a conference committee that’s meeting to negotiate what’s in the final Farm Bill.
So head over to Hands Off Snap for the names and numbers of the folks that are on the conference committee. Please call them and let them know how you feel:
Script: The Senate’s bipartisan farm bill affirms the success of the SNAP program, which reduces hunger and poverty. Protecting and strengthening SNAP — not cutting it — is the right way forward. We should ensure that SNAP will continue to help feed children and their parents, seniors, people with disabilities, and working people with low pay and inconsistent hours who struggle to make ends meet. The best outcome for our state is a strong, bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP. The Senate farm bill meets these criteria. I urge House and Senate lawmakers to work across party lines to ensure that the conference agreement on the farm bill adopts the Senate’s approach to SNAP.
Friday: Attend a Unite for Justice Event
On Sunday, groups across the nation are going to be holding Unite For Justice events protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. You can learn about events in your area – or register one of your own – at https://uniteforjustice2018.com. You can search for events at MoveOn’s site here.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together.
If you want one more quick action, make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!
Lastly, if you’d like to support this work (thanks to those who have done so!), you can become a supporter here.