The Losing Party Always Calls

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. ~Robert Collier

I think there are two keys to success. One is to show up. The other is to keep going. Most people don’t keep going. ~Dan John

Just a few months into 2017, we piled into the conference room of our newly-reelected Republican Senator; our group (of maybe 10?) was there to meet with a top staffer. We were prepared; thoughtful; energized; anxious.

She politely listened to our grievances, concerns, and fears. (All of which have come true, by the way.) She gave us her card. And after our meeting, which lasted about an hour, she started to politely usher us out.

“I’m sure you’re seeing a lot more people reaching out and calling,” one of us said as we gathered our coats and purses and papers. My ears perked up.

“Oh that always happens,” she said with a kind smile. “The losing party always calls a lot at the beginning. This is normal.”

The losing party always calls.

That has stuck with me, all this time.

The losing party always calls.

I remember reacting as though she was daring us, and thinking to myself She doesn’t get it. This is different. When we are no longer the losing party, we will keep calling.

But will we?

Are we?

Are you?

Because it’s not time to call ourselves the “winners” and call it a night. January 6 was a wakeup call. Or, at least, it should have been.

There is a huge segment of the American population that is not living in reality, and truly thinks they are acting patriotically when they storm the seat of government to try to stop the peaceful transition of power. Only seven – SEVEN! – Republicans voted to impeach Trump for inciting that insurrection.

The chasm between our parties is wide and deep. Historically so. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Even so, I sense less engagement. Less involvement. And I get it. I really do.

We’ve had four years of near-constant anxiety, stress, and sadness. We’ve endured a madman and a pandemic – and not having Trump’s Twitter feed is truly a gift.

And friend, I want you to rest, and recharge, and reemerge from this dark era with energy and lightness of being.

But we need to find a way to do both. Recharge, energize, celebrate – and work.

Joe Biden won the popular vote handily, but we came within 90,000 votes – yes, just 90,000 – of having a national Republican trifecta. (If you flip 43,000 votes in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin Trump would have won the presidency; 32,000 votes would have flipped five house races – enough for the GOP to win back the majority in that chamber; 14,000 votes for Perdue in Georgia on election night would have pushed him out of runoff territory and secured the Senate for the GOP.)

Ninety thousand. That’s less than the population of South Bend, Indiana. Or Athens, Georgia. Or Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Or Fargo, North Dakota.

That’s how close we came.

The losing party always calls.

If this election was a close call, the next one will be even closer. We are going into redistricting – a process that will largely be defined by Republicans. Demographic gains that have been made in urban areas will be lost if the GOP can find a way to redistrict them away. (And they will.) Redistricting alone is estimated to net Republicans around eight seats in the House – meaning they’d need to flip just a few to change the majority. During a mid-term, when the President’s party almost always loses seats, that’s likely.

I get it – outrage can only sustain you for so long. Anger can only sustain you for so long. Panic, anxiety – all of it numbs you eventually. It’s the boiling frog effect. But what can we do when it’s true that we’re not out of the woods?

And what can we do when anger, panic, and fear are all that seem to motivate people who are so doggone tired?

I’m posing that as an honest question, because from where I sit, I’ve not seen anyone with a good answer.

The best I can muster is a warm cup of tough love.

Here goes:

Friend, activism needs to be something you just do. Like a daily walk, or making your coffee the night before.

That’s why here I try to make it pretty simple. A call, a tweet, an article to read. Something that keeps the momentum going and keeps us all engaged. We can all do that. You can do that.

And when you start to ask yourself if it matters, or if it’s making a difference, remind yourself of what that staffer told me four years ago.

The losing party always calls.

You can bet they are working the phones. We need to, too.

On that note… Let’s get to work.

Actions for the Week of February 16, 2021

Tuesday: Welcome to the week of Action!

This is Indivisible’s Week of Action, and let me tell you – there’s some real action happening!

Key to keeping the GOP at bay is cutting off their funding streams. We can do that by making the Sedition Caucus toxic to corporate brands. (I call the 147 members of congress who voted to overturn the 2020 election the Sedition Caucus.) That’s why I’m excited to be participating in a week-long call out of donors who have contributed to Sedition Caucus members!

Note that this week we’re highlighting two donors – Lowe’s and USAA – that are “reviewing” their donation policies. That means our calls and encouragement will be even more important, because the companies are looking at where the winds are blowing! Let’s encourage them to do the right thing!

I live in Missouri, and I know many people who read Small Deeds do as well. (Fist bump) So in this week’s action I’m focusing on donors that have contributed to at least one of the Sedition Caucus members who live in Missouri. (But they contributed to loads more, so this is not a geographically specific action.)

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has put together really excellent scripts, and I highly encourage using them – and tailoring them as you see fit. They also have sample tweets to use for each corporation, which you can see here (https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/)

I also encourage you to look at the full list of Sedition Caucus funders. (You can find it here: https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/) Your employer may be on there. Your grocery store (I’m looking at you, Publix shoppers!). Your bank (Bank of America!)… There’s a lot of good we can do here, folks. So let’s dig in!

Today let’s focus on… Charter Communications! (Missouri residents – Charter donated to Billy Long, Blaine Leutkemeyer, Jason Smith, and Sam Graves.)

Phone number:  203-905-7801.

Hi, this is [YOUR NAME] from [CITY/TOWN, STATE]. 

I’m calling to ask Charter Communications to take a strong stand in response to the violence of January 6 at the Capitol — and announce that your corporate PAC will permanently stop donating to the 147 Republicans who tried to overturn our democratic election. 

Corporate PACs of big companies like American Express and Hallmark have promised to permanently stop donations to members of Congress like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the other Republicans who voted to overturn the democratic election. Hallmark is even demanding their money back. 

(If you’re a customer, mention it now.)

I’m really hoping that Charter Communications will commit to do the same. 

Can you please relay my message?

Then you can log what happens if you’d like at PCCC’s tracker HERE.

Prefer to tweet? Right on! Head over here for a shareable tweet, and tweet your heart out! https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/

Wednesday: Deere & Co!

Here is the script for John Deere & Co., which has refused to take a stand. (Missouri residents: Deere donated to Sam Graves)

Phone Number: 309-765-5161

Hi, this is [YOUR NAME] from [CITY/TOWN, STATE]. 

I’m calling to ask Deere & Company to take a strong stand in response to the violence of January 6 at the Capitol — and announce that your corporate PAC will permanently stop donating to the 147 Republicans who tried to overturn our democratic election. 

Corporate PACs of big companies like American Express and Hallmark have promised to permanently stop donations to members of Congress like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the other Republicans who voted to overturn the democratic election. Hallmark is even demanding their money back. 

(If you’re a customer, mention it now.)

I’m really hoping that Deere & Company will commit to do the same. 

Can you please relay my message?

Prefer to tweet? Right on! Head over here for a shareable tweet, and tweet your heart out! https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/

Thursday: Lowe’s!

Here is your script for Lowe’s, which is “reviewing” their policies. Uh huh. Let’s help move them in the right direction, shall we? (Missouri residents: Lowe’s donated to Billy Long)

Phone number: 704-758-1000

Hi, this is [YOUR NAME] from [CITY/TOWN, STATE]. 

I’m calling to thank Lowe’s for reviewing your corporate PAC political giving policies in the wake of the riots and violence at the Capitol on January 6. Can you note my thanks? [PAUSE] 

I’d also like to urge Lowe’s to permanently stop donating to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn our democracy. Simply reviewing policies without a commitment of action to hold accountable the members of Congress who betrayed our democracy isn’t enough. 

Corporate PACs of big companies like American Express and Hallmark have promised to permanently stop donations to members of Congress like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the other Republicans who voted to overturn the democratic election. Hallmark is even demanding their money back. 

(If you’re a customer, mention it now.)

I’m really hoping that Lowe’s will commit to do the same. 

Can you please relay my message?

Prefer to tweet? Right on! Head over here for a shareable tweet, and tweet your heart out! https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/

Friday: USAA!

USAA is “reviewing” their policies. Right-o. Let’s make sure they can see just how many people want them to cut off donations to traitors. (Seems like that should be in their corporate mission, don’tcha think?) (Missouri residents: USAA donated to Sam Graves and Billy Long)

Phone number: 800-245-9362

Hi, this is [YOUR NAME] from [CITY/TOWN, STATE]. 

I’m calling to thank USAA for reviewing your corporate PAC political giving policies in the wake of the riots and violence at the Capitol on January 6. Can you note my thanks? [PAUSE] 

I’d also like to urge USAA to permanently stop donating to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn our democracy. Simply reviewing policies without a commitment of action to hold accountable the members of Congress who betrayed our democracy isn’t enough. 

Corporate PACs of big companies like American Express and Hallmark have promised to permanently stop donations to members of Congress like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the other Republicans who voted to overturn the democratic election. Hallmark is even demanding their money back. 

(If you’re a customer, mention it now.)

I’m really hoping that USAA will commit to do the same. 

Can you please relay my message?

Prefer to tweet? Right on! Head over here for a shareable tweet, and tweet your heart out! https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/

DID YOU KNOW YOU’RE A ROCK STAR? I DID. 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!

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. We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.

Have a thought? A small deed to suggest? Share it here!

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