Showing Up And Doing The Work In The Face Of Political Existential Threats Is The New Hotness, Pass It On.
Democracy Avengers, assemble! FOUR DAYS, PEOPLE! I hope you’ve already voted, but if you haven’t, know that at this point you’ll either need to early vote or vote on Election Day. If you’re having issues with your ballot or with getting to the polls, check out iwillvote.com or call the Dem voter hotline at 833-336-8683.
And why yes, I DO still need phone bankers for Get Out The Vote (GOTV) this upcoming weekend. I’ll be in that virtual phone bank room for most of the next four days, so I do hope you’ll come by and say HI! This is it, folks. What will YOU say you did in the final days of the 2020 campaign? Or, as I mentioned on Wednesday, didn’t do?
In mercifully non-political news, I am so pleased to report that the grumpy Terry the Turtle flipping off the camera won the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. He remains, as they say, us, staring into the void that is 2020.
TO THE LONGREADS!
Tom Hixon, Me, Joe, and the Worst Phone Call in the World (The Bulwark) - Sometimes, you need a devastating discussion of the impacts of ethics and kindness in political leaders to just cut your heartstrings before a day of work and phonebanking. Excuse me while I re-apply my eyeliner.
Michelle Ruiz, AOC’s Next Four Years (Vanity Fair) - Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) is, hands down, one of THE most talented US politicians of this century, full stop. And still, as AOC herself points out in this gorgeous profile, far too many people “believe the Fox News version” of her. And I’ve heard liberals dismiss her as shallow or without subjects, while, as the piece points out, Biden and Buttigieg and others are celebrated for their precocious ambition early in their careers. Huh… I wonder what the difference is? COUGH racist misogyny COUGH COUGH. Anyhoo, I’m not finished reading this one yet, but man, it’s getting me fired up for a weekend of phone banking.
Amanda Mull, The Difference Between Feeling Safe and Being Safe (The Atlantic) - Y’all are well aware of my reporter crush on Amanda Mull, but this piece on security theater and how it all falls apart in the form of a seemingly-invisible virus that can be spread everywhere from a grocery store to a Supreme Court Justice super-spreader event is awesome. And when she delves into the difference between feeling safe and actually being safe and how so many of our social and emotional assumptions are upended as “dinner parties and birthday celebrations” become some of the primary drivers of COVID infections, it hits reeeeaaaaaaaallllllll close to home.
Melia Russell and Dan DeFrancesco, Coinbase wants to go public. Its CEO needs to change his leadership style first, insiders say (Business Insider) - SO many tech industry tropes to sink your teeth into on this one: “ambigudate” job interviews, the Soylent founder, and pile-on politically tone-deaf coattail riding for “thought leadership”. BTW folks, part of my day job is advising companies on how to handle politically volatile situations, and let me remind you: claiming that a workplace must be politics-free is inherently a political stance indicative of the values of the leadership. And I applaud the 60 employees who took the package and got TF out, as well as the candidates who’ve decided to take their talents elsewhere: I promise you there are CEOs around the country who are trying to listen to their employees and better understand the grave responsibilities of leading a diverse workforce, and working hard to learn and grow in the face of political and social unrest.
Olivia Solon, Tech platforms continue to let U.S.-based hate groups use them to make payments (NBC News) - HAVE WE NOT LEARNED A DAMNED THING!??! Sigh.
Tate Ryan-Mosley, Why political campaigns are sending 3 billion texts in this election (MIT Tech Review) - No, you’re not the only one whose phone is blowing up. But while the piece details the ways that texts are being abused by bad actors, please don’t respond to every political text messages with anger or abuse, because I promise you that 8 times out of 10, a volunteer like me is on the other end of that text, and we read them. Be kind to volunteers, friends. For the love of all things good, be kind to volunteers.
Ian Gordon, Fernanda Echavarri and Noah Lanard, America’s Immigration System Was Already Broken. Trump Made a Weapon Out of Its Shards. (Mother Jones) - As I remind you, I am an immigrant. I came to this country on a fiancée visa, and years prior to that on a student visa. I’m a white middle class woman from Canada with no accent, a degree from Princeton, and letters of support from lawyers and doctors and business leaders. I did everything “right” but was still petrified by the immigration system, with its interviews in windowless rooms after coming up one-way escalators, applications sent back because of a missed question, and an extra three-month period in 2009 where I could not work because there was a mail snafu with my work authorization request. Applying for a green card was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. So imagine you are a poor person of color who doesn’t speak English coming to this country with your family to claim asylum as SO MANY have done before, with an administration hell bent on ensuring that cruelty is a feature, not a bug. The results are horrific. THIS IS WHY I LEAD PHONE BANKS, FOLKS.
Wow. This was longer and more heated than I thought I had in me this morning, and now I need to get ready for work. Be kind to each other, my loves, and volunteer like your life depends on it.