#BigUs

It is understandable that people are afraid, and that their top priority is beating Trump. That’s my top priority too.

It is understandable that a lot of people have internalized the dominant narrative about establishment candidates being more electable, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

It is understandable that people are longing for our institutions to protect them, and that they would lean on the familiar.

It is understandable that when establishment Democratic leaders consolidated these past few days, that a lot of people would take this as a cue that their candidate MUST be the more electable candidate.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sending out volunteers to knock doors the day before the election. Photo by Ramond Curtis.

If your analysis of Ocasio’s dramatic upset victory is that “the Democratic party’s liberal wing won,” you’re missing something fundamental. You’re missing the all-important populist axis of identification and mobilization. Ocasio didn’t just bolster a “liberal base.” Key to her success is that she and her campaign opened a popular insurgency against a corroded political establishment. That’s how the campaign was able to bring in new enthusiastic bases of voters and volunteers, previously beyond the reach of either the Party’s establishment or its liberal wing.

Ocasio’s populism is refreshingly different than Trump’s lemon populism. Her populism actually punches up at…


I don’t get upset when I see people celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who do not understand the depth of his analysis and commitment. Let them. Maybe even engage with the opening — instead of posturing as the most woke radical who ‘gets it’ at a deeper level. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fierce opponent of racism in all its forms, a proud champion of poor and working people, a socialist, and a revolutionary. And he understood very well that to make any of his ambitious dreams a reality, he and the movements he was part…


A friend who is active with a local Indivisible group just asked me if I could write a quick post about Lancaster Stands Up’s member endorsement vote this week in the PA-16 Congressional primary race. My friend thought some of our strategy, process, and tactics might be of use to local Indivisible groups like theirs.

First I’ll say how excited I am about the candidate. Anyone who is looking for a prototype candidate/campaign in hard-to-win districts with large rural populations (but also small cities), I encourage you to check out Jess King. Every Democratic candidate in the country should be…


This ugly man gets his power by fomenting our prejudices and fears, appealing to our worst selves. That is why he is always “othering” some particular group of us, always scapegoating. Yesterday it was our sisters and brothers who are refugees or immigrants or of the Muslim faith. Today he targets transgender people. Who among us will find ourselves in his crosshairs tomorrow?

This is a man who preys on the vulnerable. He punches down in order to distract us from the structural causes of our economic and democratic crises. …


Steve Bannon. CC Gage Skidmore

Steve Bannon is pushing to increase the marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. Bannon may be a hate-filled white nationalist in his heart, but being evil doesn’t automatically make you stupid. Progressives need to stop underestimating this man, and to start grasping his populist strategy.

Bannon knows that raising taxes on the rich — before the left gets to it — is the ticket to consolidating rightwing populism. …


Republican Members of Congress want you to believe that constituents who read the Indivisible Guide are not legitimate constituents. They want you to think that getting yourself prepared and getting your community organized takes away your credibility. They would prefer if it if you were unprepared, disorganized, ineffective, and ultimately acquiescent — as Trump wreaks havoc on our democracy.

Take a minute to think about their faulty logic. If you wanted to plant a garden and you didn’t know how, you might wisely pick up a gardening guide. That doesn’t make you any less of a gardener. …


The apostle Paul said that “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world…”

I love this verse. Other human beings are not our enemy. People of all faiths, of all races, in all lands are our sisters and brothers, all God’s children, every one worthy of love and dignity, as we too are worthy.

Love is what makes the world go round. Hate divides us. Fear gives rise to hate. Greed motivates the strategic cultivation of fear and hate. …


I’m not going to say who sent me the below email, which was sent on October 13th of this year. But I will say that since November 8th they have yet to write me back to offer any additional sage advice.

Dear Jonathan,

Below is an email that I sent out to family members in March of this year, in which I expressed my whole-hearted support for Trumpf to be at the head of the Republican ticket and predicted that if Trumpf were the Republican nominee, it would be a major CRISIS for the Republican Party and that Trumpf (simply…


The chatter I hear this week
In public places, cafes, on the street
So many strangers
Having the same conversation
With determination in their voices
With fire in their eyes
Declaring to each other
Their pledge
To step it up
America
What are you, America?
What will you be?
Please
Please make true
America the beautiful
Please become
An America for all of us
For black and brown and red and white
For gay and straight
For women and men and trans
For all kinds of bodies
For Muslim and Christian and Jew and Sikh and atheist
For workers, of all varieties
For immigrants and for refugees
Even for our sisters and brothers in other lands
Who we may never meet
America
When will those three bold words
We The People
Mean everyone?
All of us
So much at stake
So many rooting for you
Now is the time.

Jonathan M Smucker

Co-founder, Senior Strategic Advisor: @PAstandsup; Co-founder: @lancstandsup; Co-founder, board member: @CommonDefense; my book: @HegemonyHowTo; #Bernie2020

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store