Darlings, last week got away from me and I was derelict in sending Friday’s Missive. And then, as we all now know and feel very deeply in our bones, on Friday evening Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87. I was in the midst of training a new group of Biden phone bankers when the news broke and looked around a Zoom call as the impact rippled through the group of assembled volunteers.
Some started to cry. Others furiously texted friends, or began googling news stories. And my Instagram feed began filling with heartfelt tributes and quotes and images of RBG being her pint-sized warrior self.
But I have a confession, dear readers: I was numb. Losing RBG this close to the election with ghoulish political opportunists ready to push through her conservative replacement in opposition to the faux-principled stance of what they did four years to Merrick Garland ago is heart-stopping. It’s why I volunteered for Hillary; it’s the worst-case scenario we knew would come.
So I ask you: in 10 years, when you're asked what you did right now, what will you say?
I'm helping organize virtual phone banks for the SF arm of the Biden campaign. We'll be having one every damned day until the election. In phone banking, you'll be calling voters in swing states, making sure that they know how and when to vote.
And you'll have the chance to tell people why this election matters to you.
Why does this election matter to me? Because I'm a woman. I’m an immigrant. I have pre-existing conditions. I believe climate change is caused by human actions. I believe we must eliminate the systemic racist barriers weaponized against Black people. I believe our current wealth disparity is immoral. I have mental health concerns. I’ve been at home for six months while the U.S. squandered its opportunity to respond to this pandemic. I want my cousin's kids to be able to see the Columbia glacier with their own children before it disappears. I am a divorced female who lives by herself. I believe you shouldn’t be discriminated against for who you love, or what your gender identity is. I believe my body is my own, and that no one should get to tell me what I can do with it.
And I fundamentally believe that we can achieve a more perfect union, but that we have to fight for it.
We put a lot of our faith in having one tiny woman out-live the Trump presidency. Re-posting an RBG quote on Instagram is easy. So I request this: if you posted even one social media post mourning RBG’s death, sign up for a phone bank.
Phone banks are not easy: the technology can be buggy, you get hung up on, sometimes you get a Trump supporter and get sworn at. Phone banking is not sexy or glamorous. It takes time and emotional energy. It takes humility and vulnerability. But as Jon Lovett said on Saturday’s Lovett or Leave It, “Hope is annoying because it makes demands of you.”
I have hope. But I know that hope requires work, requires effort to be better. Join us in reaching out to fellow Americans to tell them why you're voting for Biden, why it matters that we stand up to hate and incompetence and encroaching tyranny and say "enough is enough."
Here are links to sign up for our phone banks. I truly hope you'll join us.
And here are the longreads
Jeffrey Goldberg, Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’ (The Atlantic)
Amanda Mull, Why Everything Is Sold Out (The Atlantic)
Emily Ratajkowski, Buying Myself Back (The Cut)
Craig Silverman, Ryan Mac, Pranav Dixit, “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation (BuzzFeed News)
Sheila Marikar, Martha Stewart, Blissed Out on CBD, Is Doing Just Fine (The New York Times)
Be kind to each other.