An Open Letter to Democratic Strategists

Urgent.

Doomed.

Gutted.

Kiss all hope goodbye.

I get it: you want donations. You’re fighting the most serious political battles we’ve encountered in probably the past fifty years, and you need lots of help and support. You have people to pay, supplies to buy, and campaigns to mount, and most of that requires money. And the opposition — conservatives and right-wingers of every stripe — have succeeded using scare tactics for decades now. That’s how they managed to convince so many ordinary people to vote against their own best interests and elect people like Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the majority of both houses of Congress.

But we’re better than that.

I’m better than that.

I want to help. I want to feel as though I am doing something more than tweeting and forwarding memes. Health issues made it impossible for me to attend the Women’s and Science marches, but I want my voice to be heard, along with the millions of others who are furious with the Trump administration’s blatant emoluments violations, favor-currying with foreign powers, xenophobic bans, and other un-American activities. I’ve called my representatives and flooded switchboards in DC with my messages of resistance. I don’t have a lot of money, yet I’ve donated more in 2016 and 2017 than in all other years combined.

Still, I can’t help noticing that all this is completely separate for you and your constant (and, let’s face it, annoying) harangues for money. I’ve taken actions at the behest of and with the assistance of independent small-d democratic, progressive, and anti-Trump resistance groups who have gone out of their way to create apps, websites, talking points, and contact directories; they don’t beg me for money, yet they still manage to suggest ways (and make it easy) for me to reach relevant government officials, weigh in on legislation, keep the pressure on for an independent investigation into Russian collusion and the probability of a rigged election, and stay informed about the daily inanities promulgated by the Trump White House.

I have no doubt that you are doing good things with my $3 here and $3 there. But if I might be so bold, could you stop with the begging and instead tell us what you are doing? Can you help us be more actively engaged in our democracy and the resistance movement? Could you reassure me that you care as much as Rachel Maddow about the likelihood of Russian collusion in our electoral process? And can you explain how the money you are requesting will be invested in pro-Democratic efforts?

If you are buying political ad time or printing mailers (don’t: they don’t change minds), tell us. If you are printing up bumper stickers and buttons (signs of solidarity, at least), tell us. If you are paying people to go door-to-door before and during elections for GOTV efforts, tell us. But don’t just say, “if we don’t have X more dollars or supporters, we’re all gonna die.” It’s insulting.

Consider tapping into the strongest, most active grassroots energy we’ve seen in…well, maybe since 1776. Give us specific actions to follow through on, suggestions of ways we can help, and consider connecting some of the many great organizations that are standing up to the fascist regime that has infiltrated Congress and the taken over the White House — groups that are doing what YOU should be doing, too:

Brave New Films, ImpeachTrumpNow, Indivisible, #KnockEveryDoor, Movement 2017, MoveOn, Operation 45, Run for Something, Swing Left, Town Hall Project, and many, many more

And, of course

the ACLU, NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and many more.

And most of all, don’t tell us we’re “doomed”: show us that you are as committed as we are to standing up, and that we shall overcome.

Yours in #resistance,

Max Gordon