10 books for our current political moment

We can hardly predict what the next four years hold for us, but the signs are anything but encouraging. We need to steel ourselves for the fight ahead, learn from the past and find comfort and encouragement anywhere we can, including books.

Here is some recommended reading for your holidays that feels just right for our political moment: Continue reading “10 books for our current political moment”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s rallying cry for the Trump age

adichie-nowisthetimetotalkaboutwhatweareactuallytalkingabout-1200

We’ve heard a lot of prescriptions for how to behave in the wake of what was for many of us a devastating election. We’ve been told to come together behind our president and respect the office. We’ve been told to try harder to understand the pain of white people who voted for Trump, and deemphasize the pain of people of color and women who are terrorized by his rhetoric and policies. We’ve been told not to overreact, that his future behavior may defy every ounce of evidence he’s shown us of who he is and what he stands for. Continue reading “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s rallying cry for the Trump age”

Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted

blm

As we survey the wreckage from the 2016 election, the lessons we draw will have implications for years to come. Everyone has a pet theory about why things went so terribly wrong for Democrats in a year when most thought victory was assured. The decisions made in the wake of this election will determine whether the left can stem the tide as Republicans now control the vast majority of state legislatures as well as the federal government. They will determine whether the Democratic Party will be a vibrant, relevant vehicle for implementing progressive policy in the future. They will determine how effectively we can fight in the meantime and protect the people who have the most to lose under a Trump presidency.  Continue reading “Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted”

White people, we need to step up in the fight against Trump

los-angeles-anti-trump-protest
The nightmare has become reality. A bigoted, misogynistic sexual predator has gone from punchline to president-elect of the United States. Like many people, I’ve spent much of the last week wallowing in the immense grief this news has caused, and focusing on the self care that is important for activists to stay in the fight long term.

 

And fight we must. The discussion about what should have been done differently has only just begun. We must continue that conversation and ensure that we take the right lessons from this experience. But we also have work to do to prepare to greet the era of Trump with the full force of a defiant movement that will not let his hatred represent our country and endanger our people.

Continue reading “White people, we need to step up in the fight against Trump”

What it’s like canvassing in a swing state for Hillary Clinton

canvassers

This endless slog of an election can wear you down, especially with the avalanche of hatred Donald Trump has unleashed. It’s easy to feel powerless and discouraged.

I find one of the best ways to get some perspective is to get out and talk to voters directly rather than wallowing in press coverage. It gives you a mission and some agency and is a tremendously important part of winning an election. I spent last weekend in Reno going door to door for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates, and I wrote a piece about what that experience was like for Broke-Ass Stuart. 

“EXCUSE ME!”

I tense up as the tall gray-haired man wearing grandpa glasses yells to grab our attention and then stands a little too close for comfort. I was with 3 other women outside a Starbucks in Reno wearing Hillary Clinton t-shirts as we got ready to knock on doors and talk to voters. Outside of my Bay Area bubble, I realize I’m assuming random people (well, white men at least) are Trump supporters until they prove otherwise. I prepare myself for a possible lecture about how we shouldn’t whine about Donald Trump’s tape since we ladies all love reading 50 Shades of Grey so much.

Read the rest here.

Experiencing, trying to avoid and constantly hearing about sexual assault are exhausting for women

trumpwomen

Donald Trump’s candidacy isn’t funny anymore. We can’t look at the news without hearing about Trump barging into dressing rooms where women are naked, groping women and even objectifying a 10-year-old girl. It’s exhausting to face an onslaught of disgusting and demoralizing stories, and to see the responses rooted in rape culture that show why Donald Trump wasn’t shut down a long time ago. Continue reading “Experiencing, trying to avoid and constantly hearing about sexual assault are exhausting for women”

Wednesday watch: Supreme Court v. the American Voter

Republicans who have seen their base dwindle have focused in recent years on egregious attacks on voting rights designed to disenfranchise poor and minority voters. While they claim they are protecting the integrity of elections, voter fraud has not been proven to be an actual problem, and in moments of candor they have more or less admitted the real reason behind these laws.

This will be the first election since the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the historic Voting Rights Act. This op-doc from the New York Times shows how this decision happened and just what is at stake for voters and for our democracy at large.

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-1-20-09-pm

Get to know Mike Pence (though you might regret it)

mike-pence

Donald Trump rightly gets a huge amount of attention for his horrendous rhetoric. But his running mate Governor Mike Pence has actually done the kinds of reprehensible things that Trump only talks about. He may appear relatively harmless in comparison, but don’t let exceeding that very low standard reassure you. Continue reading “Get to know Mike Pence (though you might regret it)”

Fighting for the soul of a political party

150714143229-trump-clinton-composite-2-full-169

The seemingly never-ending slog of choosing candidates for president has more to offer than dick measuring contests and misogynist attacks on people’s wives. It’s an opportunity to define the vision of the two major political parties and send a message to politicians about the future we want for our country.  Continue reading “Fighting for the soul of a political party”

The danger of courting white swing voters

voting

It must be pretty sweet to be a white swing voter. Political campaigns blow millions of dollars catering to your every whim. Politicians ask what you think before they step out on a major policy program, despite the fact that your views aren’t representative of the majority of Americans. The changing demographics of this country mean it’s well past time to stop obsessing over a shrinking population that’s out of sync with the right direction for this country. Continuing to cater to those voters can have dire consequences, in politics and more importantly in policies that deeply impact people’s lives. Continue reading “The danger of courting white swing voters”