Planting our garden while Trump threatens to shut down the government

Call! Write! March! Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been busy ones for the Resistance. Meanwhile, President Trump is so upset by his lack of accomplishments that he is threatening to shut down the government unless Democrats agree to build the wall and fund his wasteful military build up. That is not going to happen without a long fight. But while the Republicans are busy boxing with their own shadows, we should begin planning and building our 2018 campaigns - now

Trump’s demand for funding for the border wall came out of nowhere like a spring storm, apparently inspired by his realization that his first 100 days have been all sound and fury signifying nothing.  It is possible that Republicans will temporarily shut down the government over this issue – if they do, you know who to call and what to say – but this is a distraction. Instead, let’s talk about gardens and harvests.

We all know gardeners spend the winter months looking over catalogues, sharpening tools, designing flowerbeds and ordering seeds. This season of planning and preparation is essential to growing a successful garden. Here is some essential planning that you can do now to get ready for the important elections of 2017, 2018 and 2020.

The garden is large and overrun by weeds. Republicans control all three branches of the Federal government but, also of equal importance, they are in control of the vast majority of state legislatures and governorships. We need to do a lot of weeding, tilling, planting and tending! Here is where you can start planning your contribution.

  1. Take a good look at your own patch of ground. Who represents you in Congress? In the state legislature? If you are in a contested district or state then, your task is clear. Identify the races that you can work on and support.
  2. If you are in a district or state that is not contested – either solidly blue or red – then look for a district where you can be helpful. Swing Left has a handy mobile app that will tell you the closest contested congressional races for 2018. These are the key races we need to win to take back the House.
  3. Remember that races for state legislature and governorships are every bit as important as those for the higher profile federal offices. Flippable is a website that highlights the state level fights that are so important. Check it out.
  4. Finally, plan a vacation - go to your 2018 calendar, find a week in September or October that you can spend canvassing in a swing district. Mark it off. Now you will be doing something useful at harvest time.

In the coming weeks we will provide more details for putting these ideas to fuller use in state and federal elections. For this week, we are celebrating 100 days of Resistance and planning for the harvest to come.