Let’s Do the One Thing Trump Is Incapable Of: FOCUS

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

How did you feel when you heard that Trump had suggested delaying the election last week?

Outraged? Scared? Angry?

I certainly saw all of these things in articles, opinion pieces, on social media, and in conversations. And people talked and talked and talked. I found it hard to be online, with so much fear and panic in the air.

It didn’t seem to matter when folks–including constitutional professors and scholars–pointed out that Trump can’t delay the election. That the only body that has that authority is Congress, and Pelosi and McConnell would have to agree to a new date. That just is never going to happen.

No, what I saw was people who WANTED to wallow in the fear and “what if” scenarios and dive deeper into the darkness.

Not to be mean, but I just don’t have time for that. I will respond once to someone who might not know what powers the president has and doesn’t have, but if they are not happy with that answer and just want to talk endlessly about all of the horrible things that could happen, I have to walk away.

Here’s what I know: There are a lot of people who will do everything they can to discourage us from voting. Republicans, citizens who still aren’t happy about the primary results, foreign actors, chaos agents. They will use all kinds of tactics to stop us.

Making us feel as though our vote isn’t worth it is one that I’m most concerned about. If you feel your vote is just going to be suppressed, will you vote? If the president convinces you that mail-in ballots are fraudulent (which they are NOT), will you vote? If you keep seeing polls that show your candidate way ahead of their opponent, will you vote? If you keep coming across posts that denigrate your chosen candidate, will you be an enthusiastic volunteer for them?

These are the exact types of articles and social media posts I’m seeing everywhere. It’s all designed to suppress your vote AND your desire to help win the election.

We have a president and a media cycle that is really unhealthy, and likes to jump from topic to topic. They never stay focused. And that, my dear readers, is exactly what we need to do. FOCUS.

Recognize that you will be hit with all sorts of disinformation and negative campaign tactics. And then set it aside. Stay focused on registering people to vote. Focus on learning about the policies that your candidates want to see enacted if they’re elected, and share that positive information with others. Share information about how safe mail-in ballots are and how they work.

Those are activities you and I can control. Now, if you’re a constitutional scholar, or former federal prosecutor, I do hope that you are lending your expertise to the Biden campaign or other organizations that should be preparing for the worst-case scenarios. But if that’s not your expertise, let’s focus on getting voters to vote.

We need to win this election, up and down the ballot, to start restoring our democracy. We need to reject these last four years, and in numbers too big to dispute. Make it impossible to question the results.

That’s what I’ll be doing here at Political Charge in these final 3 months. Staying focused on what we can control and how we can take action. I hope you’ll be joining me.

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17 replies

  1. SPOT ON! Thank you, once again, for putting words to this for so many of us! My goal, in these next 97 days, is to focus only on the work we are doing – training for two phone banks a week, texting and whatever else we can drum up – and basically avert my gaze from the sh#$ show! I know it’s happening, and yes, I stay up to date on the news, but there is so little I can do about that, (other than use my voice to speak up and out). I know I am most effective when I volunteer and help others volunteer and so that is what I will do! NO ONE should be on the sidelines griping unless they are also actively working on the election. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Lol. And, honestly, I see how much happier I am than those around me who are NOT doing anything, and I realize it’s because I can lay some of the burden down that they cannot. I know I’m giving my all, so I can rest in that knowledge. They cannot, so they are miserable at the feeling of having no control over anything. Make sense? I hope so. Thanks so much for your voice, your clarity and your work. You are a treasure!

    • Thank you for your comment, Jill. I’m like you — the one thing that helps me is taking action. It calms me like nothing else. If I could wave my magic wand, I’d get everyone to try volunteering even if just for a short while. That’s how sure I am that it’s help them. Thank you for taking action!

  2. I am with you on this. It is really hard to focus. This is an exhausting time for engaged citizens. Thanks for the pep talk-some days you just feel like a badminton “birdie” in play. My friends,and my garden and my cat help calm my brain and focus.

  3. Rather than distraction and chaos, I feel more resolve to vote Biden, and I see a lot of people thinking the same. It makes us angry and exhausted and we want it to stop. Resolve and vigilance, brothers and sisters!

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    We are bombarded with so much ‘news’ on a daily basis, much of it designed to raise our hackles, to speak to our worst nightmares, to instill either fear or a sense of hopelessness. Our friend TokyoSand reminds us that in order to win in November, in order to defeat the current regime and begin to restore some semblance of democratic principles, we must maintain our focus. She makes some excellent points that we all need to keep in mind. Thank you once again for your clear thinking and sound advice!

  5. Amen! Always reasoned and well-thought out advice….

  6. TokyoSand, well said. Here is focus for all of us. If Trump says it or tweet it, it is likely untrue. The odds are well in your favor. Even when he does something that sounds directionally correct, I cannot trust if there is a hidden agenda. That makes me sad to say that about a US president, but he earned this skepticism.

    He has been and will continue to a master distractor. One reason he spoke of moving the election, which has no authority to do, is the US economy fell 33% in the second quarter which was announced that morning. It fell on Trump’s watch and, in large part, to his mishandling and misinformation on the pandemic caused an insufficiently cautious reopening and people who still think it is a hoax which he claimed as late as Feb. 28.

    He has attacking mail-in voting as well as the post office, so he can cry foul should the vote does not go his way. He is doing nothing (nor is Mitch McConnell) to assure people and protect the integrity of the vote. He is attacking China on all fronts to distract us and appear he is being tough. In fact, his retrenchment postures, tariffs and transactional focus have greased the skids for the already ascendant China.

    One of the red flags that his base fails to notice is do not trust anyone who spends so much time tooting his own horn and blaming others. That is not a leader. That is a narcissist. Keith

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Keith. I agree with you on nearly every point. I think his agenda is driven by one thing: is it in his self-interest? If so, he does it.

  7. and yet both parties continually suppress the vote every election cycle by not allowing the libertarian candidates to debate because of stupid rules, impossibly high signature requirements that they know can’t be reasonably met, etc.
    I am sick and tired of democrats blaming only the republicans for disenfranchising the vote when they need to look into the mirror at their bankrupt souls and know that they play an equal part in this reprehensible marginalization of the psyche of the individual at election time.
    By the way, trump is going to run circles around byden in a debate and I’m voting libertarian, always have, always will. Both the democrats and republicans are corrupt hypocritical bastards who don’t give a damn about you or me or the issues that really matter to us. They are all bought off by corporate special interests and you know it.
    And if I hear one word about how voting for the libertarian or a third party candidate is a wasted vote, you will have just proven my point about how the democrats marginalize the people as well.
    I don’t really read your blog because it’s clear that we don’t see eye to eye on absolutely anything but I had to speak my mind on this one issue that crosses political divides.

    • Take it up with the Constitution. Despite the founders’ wishes, it pretty much guarantees a two-party system. What you want is a parliamentary system.

      • the same people who say that 4 to 6 candidates is too many on the debate stage in 2020 are the same people who were perfectly okay with 15 plus democrats
        on stage in the primaries or 17 plus republicans on the stage in 2016. Hipocrits, all of them.

  8. and there’s this, not that you guys care about it but I’d be remiss if not posting the information for you.

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