Why We’re Doing Better Than You Might Think

Movement is the big secret behind getting stuff done. ~Gary Halbert

Flip on the news, and it’s hard to watch. It’s been that way for three years now.

“BREAKING NEWS” banners don’t get a break, and neither do we.

This is a shock-and-awe campaign of a presidency, and for many of us, it’s been demoralizing. What’s the breaking point? people ask. If children in cages/Muslim bans/transgender bans/betrayal of allies/[insert Trumpian awful here] isn’t enough to inspire collective outrage, what is?

But then.

But now.


Over the past few weeks, the number of people favoring impeachment (and impeachment + removal) has ticked up. For those of us enamored with charts and graphs, the trend has been comforting.

And right now around 48% support impeachment and removal. For comparison, during Nixon’s impeachment public sentiment in favor of impeachment didn’t hit the 50%-ish mark until just a few weeks before Nixon resigned. (If you’re into charts and graphs, go check out FiveThirtyEight’s analysis HERE.) And even after Nixon’s “smoking gun” tape was released, a lot of Republicans thought he should stick around anyhow. A Gallup poll done just a few days before he resigned reported just 31% of Republicans favored removing him. Over HALF of Republicans thought he should stay in office.

And the Nixon White House didn’t even have the benefit of Fox News.

So, yeah – charts and graphs and polls show we’re going in the right direction.

But those same charts and graphs don’t convey the emotion, the urgency, and the momentum we can see with our own two eyes.

On Sunday, an entire stadium organically, spontaneously booed Donald Trump. The crowd went from high-pitched enthusiastic whoops for service members … to low, guttural rumbling boos when Trump’s face lit up the jumbotron. “Lock him up!” rattled through the bleachers.

On Monday he arrived in Chicago (a city that he claimed to be more dangerous than Afghanistan) to thousands of protesters in the streets. A sign was unfurled on Trump Tower in Chicago: IMPEACH TRUMP emblazoned in blood red letters.

I don’t yet know what today will bring, but if it’s anything like the beginning of the week, I’d say it’s a good trend.

It’s been a long slog, friends. Three years is no joke, and just following the day’s events often feels like drinking from a firehose.

And after three years of protesting, it’s seemed like we’ve been too plumb tuckered out to protest anymore. There’s so much outrage it won’t fit on a sign anymore. And many of us have been feeling down, and tired, and more than a little angry that we have to put up with all of this in the first place.

So when we see these little sparks of energy? Well. They say something.

They say that we’re still here, and we still care, and there’s still fight in us.

But these little sparks of energy also speak to a completely different audience: to the folks on the sidelines who are looking around and wondering if anyone else thinks the wheels have fallen off. Now those people have a reference point to say – Ah. See? I’m not alone. All these other people see what I’m seeing too.

So even though it’s been three long years, and I don’t anticipate getting a break from the BREAKING NEWS, I do think we’re better off than you might think if you gauged things just by looking at the headlines.

So let’s take that to heart.

And take a deep breath.

Let’s put our heads down…

And get to work.

Actions for the week of October 29

Two-fer tuesday: tell me your story, and Resistance Labs Text Banks!

First – Let’s keep this conversation going about energy gains/wanes over the last year. I would LOVE to hear how you’ve seen things change over the last year. What have you noticed on the ground? What’s the mood lately? What’s become more of a challenge – or has improved – over the last year? I’m all ears, and looking forward to your stories. I’ll report on them next week!

Second – it’s GO GO GOTV for Virginia’s elections – which are one week from today. Resistance Labs is doing GOTV texting for the Virginia elections right now. If you’ve never done a text bank before, let me tell you – it really couldn’t be easier. No door knocking, no phone calls. It’s simple and fun and you can do it in your jam jams on your couch.

You can sign up for a 3 hour shift any day between now and the election on November 5. Go to https://resistancelabs.com/gotv to learn more.

Wednesday: Let’s Keep This Public Momentum Going

Two great resources, here. First, there will be big public events the night before the impeachment vote in the House. Get ready to show support for the impeachment vote (and protest your Rep if he/she doesn’t find themselves on the right side of history here).

Find events in your area – and read more about this public event initiative – at https://www.impeach.org/event/impeach-and-remove-attend/search/?

But here’s another great tool: The most recent listing of House members that support impeachment. If you’ve been wondering where your rep stands, you can find out here: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/733536620/who-in-the-house-is-calling-for-impeachment

Thursday; Call for the Kurds

Honestly, I cannot think about the Kurdish people without getting emotional. It’s humiliating and heartbreaking. It’s everything that’s awful about this administration wrapped up in one tragedy. Corruption, self-dealing, betrayal, racism, incompetence made fatal via narcissism – it’s all there.

So I won’t belabor it. But please don’t forget these people. They are not Americans, but they are humans. And today they are hurting because Trump betrayed them. Remind your Senators that you expect them to use their political power to do something more than pray for them.

Turkey continues to violate the cease fire agreement that was reached and attack Kurdish forces. Even so, Trump lifted the economic sanctions against Turkey a week ago.

Our Senators need to stop sitting on their hands. If Lindsey Graham can introduce a resolution condemning the impeachment inquiry, he can introduce a resolution condemning Trump’s betrayal of an ally whose intelligence directly led to the elimination of al-Baghdadi. (And by way of reminder, Graham once said he would be Trump’s “biggest nightmare” and would not sit on the sidelines and watch our ally be slaughtered.)

Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent at ___. I’m calling today because I’m very concerned that there’s been no further conversation about the Kurdish people. Their intelligence directly led to the elimination of al-Baghdadi over the weekend. They have been on the front lines fighting ISIS. But Turkey continues to violate the ceasefire, Trump lifted sanctions against Turkey, and from what I can see there’s nothing going on in the Senate to try to pressure the administration to help our ally. What exactly is the Senator doing about this issue?

Friday: Climate Solutions – Personal & Local

Okay, folks! Two great resources for this week’s climate actions.

First, if you have *ever* considered going solar, check out the Sun Roof Project. You enter your home address, and get an estimate (based on google maps) of what a solar system would save you. (Warning – it’s a little addictive. I’ve now analyzed the rooftops at every address I’ve lived.)

Not only does the website tell you how much you might save financially – it tells you your actual carbon impact. Apparently if our family went solar we’d save the equivalent of taking two cars off the highway every year. (And we’d save gobs of money.)

Check it out here: https://www.google.com/get/sunroof/building/41.2679332/-96.24836010000001/

Second, here’s a fantastic article about what various city governments are doing to become more energy efficient. Let’s face it – because city governments are … well … local, it’s easier to connect with leaders and make your voice heard. From simple solutions like making buildings more efficient to creating more lovely green spaces (calling all gardeners!) to rethinking transportation routes, there are ideas here to consider – and to explore with your city/town governments. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/8-ways-cities-fighting-climate-change/

And just to reiterate – even if you aren’t able to convince your city government to do anything, that doesn’t mean you can’t join with your neighborhood to take action. Stories abound of small hamlets, groups of people – or even businesses – who have taken things into their own hands to eliminate plastic consumption, increase green spaces – you name it!


P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.

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!

P.P.S.: If you want to help support this work you can do so via Patreon at
https://www.patreon.com/smalldeedsdone or via paypal at https://www.paypal.me/smalldeeds
My deepest gratitude in advance.

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. Don’t you forget it.

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