No Time To Be Silent


Reading time – 2:31; Viewing time – 3:34  .  .  .

It was a November evening in Chicago in 2008 that was much warmer than we had a right to expect. Hundreds of thousands of us gathered in Grant Park along Lake Michigan to watch the election returns on the Jumbo-Trons set up for that purpose. The cops were there on their gorgeous thoroughbreds, but there wasn’t any crowd control needed. In fact, the cops were off by the vendor stands eating pizza.

At last we saw Wolf Blitzer on the CNN screen near us and heard him announce that Ohio (I think it was Ohio) had gone for Obama and that put him over the top – he had won. People in the park were cheering, dancing, jumping, hugging, crying, smiling and doubled over in relief. We were there with our family that night and we did all of that and more. I recall yelling what Rachel Maddow had said when Obama won the 95% white Iowa caucuses 10 months earlier: “This is the kind of country I want to live in.”

Of course, much of the celebration was because a Black man had been elected president, with all that implied. It would be a mistake, though, to fail to recognize the long dark night that was the administration of George W. Bush and which led to that November celebration that was in stark contrast to the Bush years. The relief that November evening was one of at last having a feeling of hope once again, a feeling that had been absent for 8 years and two stolen elections.

I was reminded of that celebratory night following Joe Biden’s acceptance speech last Thursday. Gone were the gaffs, the missteps and fumbles. Before us was a warrior for the people, for democracy, for the United States of America and for the entire world. And he showed up just in time, as we’re neck deep in the cesspool of Trumpism. It’s been an inescapable nightmare of corruption, of subverting the rule of law, of manipulating the government solely to serve Trump, of division and cruelty and we have been absent of hope for four years. To paraphrase President Gerald Ford, the long national nightmare of Trump may soon be over.

And that’s why following Biden’s speech I thought of Grant Park on that wonderful November evening 12 years ago.

Now we have to complete the story. Now we have to do the hard work to make hope real. Now we have to make the twister that causes Biden’s house to fall on the Wicked Witch of Mar-a-Lago. Only then can we cry out, “Ding dong, the witch is dead.”

So, it’s time to get to work helping people register to vote, to help them sign them up to vote by mail, for voting early ourselves and by doing all the things that will raise Biden’s house into the sky so that it will drop in just the right place.

From Elie Wiesel:

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

This is no time to be silent.

Remember:

Democracy is a participation sport. Its a patriotism thing.

Be a patriot. The Founders would be proud.

Opportunities

Speed counts, because early voting and mail-in voting start in some places as early as two weeks from now.

Phone bank for candidates – pick any state or race you like. It’s way easier than you may think – and it’s non-confrontational.

Volunteer with MoveOn – lots of ways to put a stake in the ground.

Check to make sure you’re registered to vote and haven’t been voter suppressed – go to Vote.org.

Send post cards to swing state voters to urge people to vote with the simple system of PostCardsToSwingStates.com.

Volunteer with Biden For President.

It’s hard to read, but the add-on at the bottom reads, “FUNCTIONING ADULT”

Volunteer for the candidates of your choice by going to their websites. Find them by googling, e.g.  “Ooblick for Senate.” I shouldn’t have to say this, but substitute the candidate’s name for “Ooblick” and don’t include the quotation marks.

Post a lawn sign and get a bumper sticker for the candidates you support. Go to the website of your local Democratic Party affiliate. Start here. While you’re there, kick in a few bucks to help out.

Go to Mayday America and volunteer – lots of ways to do this.

Check with friends, family and the elderly people in your life who aren’t online savvy. Offer to help them and remind them to vote.

In my neck of the woods, go to the Tenth Dems site or the Democrats of Northfield Township. Go to Indivisible Evanston (there are links to affiliates in other states) and review their list of ways to make a difference.

Go to Media Matters to stay informed.

To be clear on why this isn’t just important, but is critical, read this from Ben Rhodes. He served as U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Then pass this post along to others.

This is a battle for the soul of our nation.” – Joe Biden. So, put your soul into this – JA

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Ed. note: We need to spread the word so that we make a critical difference, so

  1. Pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe (IT’S A FREEBIE!).
  2. Engage in the Comments section below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. Sometimes I change my opinions because I’ve learned more about an issue. So, educate me. That’s what the Comments section is for.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.

JA


Copyright 2020 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.


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7 Responses to No Time To Be Silent
  1. Robert B Bloom, Ph.D. Reply

    This coming election is different from all others. It is for the heart and soul of America. Four more years of the current disaster will severely cripple our democratic government for years. Vote Blue to rid us of this cancer.

  2. David L. Lindgren Reply

    I was celebrating in Grant Park in 2008 somewhere distant but not too distant from you. Happiness was all over the place.
    We need to promote a more peaceful manner in approaching this election than what is happening. Trump and his minions will trigger the crap out of people wanting to defeat him. And we can easily fall into the trap of mirroring the other side’s anger and insensitivity. I read that CNN today said that as an incumbent who is this low in the polls, Trump will need to BREAK A RECORD. That is all “they” need to cause them to do everything they can to break the record. I say “enough” of trashing Trump. One would have to have brain damage to not understand his faults. The Biden team, really us, need to focus on what needs to be done to bring governmental effectiveness back. If there is a Coronavirus plan needed, spell it out.

  3. John Calia Reply

    LIke most convention speeches, your post focuses on the emotional rather than substantive issues. The entire premise behind the Ds campaign is distaste for all things Trump. Should Biden win, we will be treated to policies that emulate the declining economies of Europe. In four years, we’ll be wondering what happened to our economic fortunes and President Harris will double down on failed policies of the left.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      Regarding emotional issues, agreed. Convention speeches focus there because that’s what garners votes.

    • David L. Lindgren Reply

      John, hoping that doesn’t happen but you may be correct. But isn’t “first things first”. Having Trump continue to be out of touch with leadership, we all suffer. And creating fear for the next 4 years is exacting where Trump comes from – creating fear.

      • John Calia Reply

        Well said, David. Well-informed people may disagree on balance who to vote for but not on the reality. Here in deep blue NY, I am overwhelmed and often browbeaten by anti-TRumpers who think anyone would be better. I am not there yet.

  4. Anastasia Gonzalez Reply

    WELL SAID! Cheers, joy, tears all of those are what my husband and I felt last thursday night!

    I also felt HOPE, hope that I have not had in a long time. Hope that we will push forward and return to being proud Americans, in our wonderful country. Led by in your words a ” WARRIOR OF THE PEOPLE” Amen!!!! Indeed. Yes we all cannot say enough about the work we need to do! Thank you for posting all these wonderful options! We are already doing our part with Post Cards!!! There is more to be done…. We HAVE TO ALL WORK TOGETHER!!! BTW I love the song ” Ding Dong the Witch is DEAD”