The focus has been on the crazy and scary looking subjects.
A man with a tattooed midsection sporting a bull headdress. Another, much more frightening figure, dressed in tactical gear and carrying zip-tie restraints (he turned out to be a 30-year-old bartender who attended the insurrection … with his mom). The men dressed like Revolutionary War heroes – as though they were supposed to be the entertainment at a historical event but took a wrong turn and ended up at a coup.
We’ve heard about them. We’ve seen their photos. We’ve heard about who’s former military, who was a police officer – even who was a state legislator. And we’ve seen the images that very clearly show some folks who do not have a strong grip on reality.
Most of those images and stories are about the men.
Less reported on are, to me, the scariest of all: the women who live next door. Not scraggly. Not slovenly. Well-dressed. Wearing delicate gold crosses on chains. Designer jeans. Hallmark Channel hair. Taking photos as they streamed through the Capitol, flashing a “peace” sign, clearly believing the coup was their own private – very exciting – tour.
We got a better view of some of the Soccer Mom Seditionists through their social media accounts. Most notably we heard from a woman who, in an adrenaline-fueled mistake of life-destroying consequences, uploaded a video describing herself and others tearing down Speaker Pelosi’s sign… She’s a florist. (Or at least she was.)
Some women who stormed the Capitol were later hauled off of the airplanes they planned to take home, due to their recent addition to the No Fly List. As they maneuvered down the aisle, fellow passengers lobbed insults – but also seemed surprised that these two casserole-baking, flower-backpack-toting, PTA moms would have been part of the attack on the Capitol.
“It’s my first amendment right” one of the women hisses back at a heckler, reflexively defending her “right” to break into our seat of government in an effort to intimidate legislators to slow or stop their certification of the election, even as she’s escorted off the plane.
Others focused on Pink Hat Lady, also known as Bullhorn Lady – a woman who used a bullhorn to direct an entire room full of insurrectionists as to how to “take this building”. I studied her FBI Wanted poster (it’s featured above). I watched the video. She reminded me of a mom who was wrangling a sugar crazed soccer team.
To my knowledge, they still haven’t figured out who she is.
But as I was checking to see if she’d been identified, I continued to see people shocked that someone who looked so normal – puffy coat, pink winter hat, sunglasses like yours or mine – could have picked up a bullhorn and directed traffic at a coup.
See – that’s one benefit of living where I live, in middle America. I’m not surprised at all.
I get to see, up close and personal, just how deep this goes.
It’s not the women standing behind Trump wearing a star-spangled bikini touting a WOMEN LOVE TRUMP sign that we need to be worried about. They are easy to spot.
I’m worried about grandmas. And sweet Mrs. Jones down the street. And Mr. Smith who volunteers at church.
I see plenty of women sporting Be Kind Facebook frames spewing hate and dehumanizing members of a different political party. As justification they’ll say something insane – like Democrats just want mask mandates to make it easier to steal children – with earnestness and passion.
Right before they try to sell you on aromatherapy treatments for COVID-19.
There are others, seemingly more small-d democratic, who try to dress insurrection up in patriotism and leave it at that. They’d rather be true to their party than their country or their conscience. Of course, they’d never admit that.
Why do I think these folks are scarier than, say, the guy wearing a bull headdress? Because they are in and among us – teaching our kids, setting up the bake sale, doing our taxes, raising money for the band. They’re not what you imagine an insurrectionist to be.
Because in many ways, they’re like you, and me.
I’ve grappled a lot with what you do when there’s a significant segment of the population that’s living in a different world … right next door. Partly because of where I live, and partly because of who I’m related to.
It’s a question that I didn’t have much mental space for when we had a monster in the White House, with tiny fingers that were far too close to the nuclear codes. Fixing that existential crisis was job number one.
Now it feels like the time to start focusing our attention on the movement that he created and the people he corrupted, because that threat continues even though he’s lost his biggest platforms.
I don’t have the answers for this one. I wish I did. But I do know one thing. We can’t just pretend the Soccer Mom Seditionists don’t exist.
After all … they live next door.
Let’s get to work, folks. The grand cleanup begins!
Actions for the Week of January 26, 2021
Tuesday: Unfox Your Cable Box
After Trump’s Twitter account was banned, misinformation went down by a striking 73%. That’s both surprising and totally expected, right? Disinformation has torn us apart – but disinformation has to have a method of dissemination … or it goes nowhere.
Social media is obviously one place where misinformation takes on a life of its own. But a cable network can give even the most crazy of conspiracy theories the air of legitimacy they need to become the next Big Lie.
Over the weekend, WaPo had a great opinion piece about how Fox News is a danger to our democracy. If you didn’t see it, check it out HERE. One of the solutions set out by the writer is to hit Fox where it counts: ratings and advertisers. And while there are certainly efforts to pressure Fox’s advertisers, Fox really couldn’t exist without … you. And me, and all of the other people who have cable TV.
That’s why I’m intrigued by a new effort to Unfox My Cable Box: https://unfoxmycablebox.com It’s an effort to put pressure on your cable or satellite provider to stop using your money to subsidize Fox News. And you can let your cable or satellite company know you’re going to switch—unless they make a change.
You can now get your TV from streaming services that do not include Fox News. (Thanks, internet!) Been thinking about dropping cable? When you call to cancel, make sure that you mention your desire to un-Fox your cable box. (Even if that’s not the main reason, you have to admit it’s a good side benefit, no?)
Check it out, share the idea with your network, and call your cable company!
Wednesday: You Should Run (She Should Run Workshop!)
On Wednesday, She Should Run is hosting a webinar that promises to show you that you already possess the skills and talents necessary to lead in your community, state, and country.
“Instead of offering advice on how to remake yourself, we know that you already possess the skills and talents necessary to lead in your community, state, and country. The key is how to recognize and mobilize those gifts that are unique to you.”
If you want to build confidence and lead change, identify your own talents and skills, understand how to grow your personal leadership goals this event is for you!
All attendees will receive a copy of our Action Plan for Change Worksheet to use for mapping out your 2021.
Sign up HERE.
Thursday: Are You Part of Your Local Democratic Party? Attend this cool training:
The National Democratic Training Committee is having a training for local Democratic party members. The topic? Non-electoral organizing for your local party!
It’s Thursday, January 28th from 1pm-2pm ET. If you’re part of your local Democratic party’s leadership, precinct leader, or local leader, this training is just for you!
You will learn the following in the training:
- Understand why campaign-based organizing works
- Identify ways to develop local campaigns
- Understand how various layers of democratic infrastructure work together to plan and execute local campaigns
Check it out and sign up HERE.
Friday: Tell your senators: do Not Give In to Mitch McConnell – not now, not ever
We won the Senate, but until last night, Mitch McConnell was demanding that Democrats agree to a power-sharing agreement (which is what happens with a 50/50 Senate, as we have now) that makes it impossible to eliminate the filibuster.
If Democrats didn’t submit to his power-sharing agreement, he threatened to … filibuster. And keep the Senate from even organizing itself.
If that is not the absolute best example of *exactly why* we need to eliminate the filibuster, I don’t know what is. Because right now, the minority is calling the shots. (Notably, not when Democrats are in the minority – because we don’t play like that. BUT REPUBLICANS DO.)
Up until early this morning my plan was to ask you to call your Senators and ask them to stay strong (if they are Democrats) on the organizing agreement. But now, I think it’s pretty critical to start the calls for the filibuster to go. Mitch McConnell has just proven that he will use the filibuster to stop anything and everything – we can’t continue to allow this anti-democratic relic to hold up democracy.
Now, I don’t expect to be able to “nuke” the filibuster right away. This is a process that will take time, and plenty of examples of Mitch McConnell holding up legislation we care deeply about. So consider this a down payment on many calls and letters we’ll need to send to encourage our Democratic senators that we have their backs – and hopefully cajole any that might waiver. (BTW – it takes 51 Senators to “nuke” the filibuster, and Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are the two current holdouts. If you are in West Virginia or Arizona, it’s especially important for you to call and start advocating to get rid of the filibuster.
More data and specifics on why the filibuster is so anti-democratic next week!
Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m calling from ___. I’m calling because Democrats are the majority in the Senate, and it’s flat wrong for Mitch McConnell to try to hamstring the Senate before it even begins. If what he attempted this week is any sign of things to come, we should eliminate the filibuster immediately. What is the Senator’s position on eliminating the filibuster? A majority of Americans are counting on you to move legislation – how will you do that if Mitch McConnell blocks all non-fiscal legislation? Thanks – I’m looking forward to continuing this conversation with your office!
WHEW! GO, TEAM! SUPER PROUD OF YOU!
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!
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.