These Petitions Will Not Save Us — Here’s What We Need to Do

I’ve noticed that “Big Petition” has moved to the “bargaining” stage. And yes, it’s good to feel like those of us grieving from Mr. Trump’s election, who care and are sincerely concerned for our country and world at large, can “do something” to stop it, reverse it, or make life harder for a man that (I say with absolutely NO due respect) I consider a piece of human feces. Hey – like those of you who share my views, I’m a proud a member of “The Resistance.” But at the risk of being “Mr. Negative,” I really must caution everyone to manage their expectations about the effectiveness of these petitions and false hopes. So, I’m sorry to disappoint, but here are 3 things that are NOT going to happen, despite your electronic signature:

  1. 37 REPUBLICAN Electors are not suddenly going to find courage, OR agreement with our point of view. Keep in mind, these people HATE Hillary Clinton and aren’t likely the Republicans that voted for Gary Johnson. Also, to become what’s known as a “faithless Elector,” (an Elector who does not end up voting for the candidate to whom they are committed) one has to do it publicly. This will quite literally put their lives in danger of white supremacist goons’ violence… and I’m pretty sure they KNOW that. Don’t you think they know that!?
  1. If no Senator was going to take a courageous stand on the Senate floor and raise objection to the 2000 Election results (remember that fateful day where Gore himself had to chair the ratification of the election, and only House members rose to help him?), than I can assure you Vice President Biden and the Obama White House, which has gone out of its way to show a gracious and peaceful transition, aren’t going to budge for a mere 100,000 signatures demanding Mr. Trump to release his tax returns before ratifying the election.
  1. Republican Members of Congress are not suddenly, let alone publicly, going to object to Steve Bannon being given a White House job. Why? Because they want President Trump to sign their bills into law. And if there was ever a revenge and retribution president with a long memory, don’t you think it’s this guy?

I also would caution against any hope of ridding ourselves of the Electoral College anytime soon, though I would sure love to. Why? Because there is no interest on the part of the Republicans to do so, and (skipping real quick to the “acceptance” stage for a moment) they are in charge. So, do you really see us being able to rally ¾ of the states to overturn it, especially when they are in charge of so many of those states?  Yes, this should be a drumbeat over time, but don’t get your hopes up about 2020 being decided by popular vote.

The two best things we can do are:

  • Learn from our mistakes this election, organize, and communicate a message to working Americans about why our platform is better for their lives and their families.
    • This starts with the election of a new Chair of the Democratic National Committee, who I would argue MUST BE A FULL TIME CHAIRPERSON (Sorry, Keith Ellison. You’re wonderful. But no). Why on Earth do we keep electing DNC Chairs who already have a job in elected office? The Republicans don’t make that mistake. I would argue the two best DNC Chairs of my lifetime were Ron Brown (who readied us for the 1992 election) and Howard Dean (who readied us for the historic 2008 election). Both were full time chairs.
  • Start building up our “farm system.” Folks – outside of California, we have an incredibly weak bench. Bernie is 75. Elizabeth Warren will be 71 in 2020. Tim Kaine will just remind primary voters of their hurt feelings. We need more governors, senators, and people in lower offices who can BECOME governors and senators, in a LOT more states.

So, while panicky petitions may feel nice, I say onwards and upwards with “things we can do” that really will make a difference.

…Why are you still reading? Go!



  1. Here, here. And in the words of Todd Flora, we can do all of this at once! It is mind-blowing how many ways we can get involved, take leadership and channel our pain into mitigating the damage of this election and advancing equity in our communities so that we have a real democracy. You know, one where EVERYONE has a say in their own future?!

  2. Dems’ bench is indeed anemic. An unconventional, outside-the-Beltway candidate who can attract, inspire, and motivate a wide spectrum of Democrats would be ideal. Someone like Oprah Winfrey. And no, I am not crazy.

    • Agreed — certainly a lot less crazy an idea than Trump. And she’s COMPETENT. Plus… I’ll get a car, and you’ll get a car, and ….!!!

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