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As a reminder, our next meeting will be on August 28th with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. You can click here to RSVP for the meeting which will begin at 6:30 pm at the Glenview Park Center.
In light of the last week’s violence, gun violence will certainly be part of our conversation. However, if you want to join the discussion sooner Mom’s Demand Action will be meeting in the Pollack Room at the Northbrook Public Library at 7pm on August 22nd. All are welcome (not just moms).
There is one party in America that wants to pass laws to make these kinds of tragedies stop. And, there is one party in America that mostly wants to blame other things besides guns. One party that wants to ban assault weapons. And one that wants to ban violent video games. There is one party in America that is serious about confronting the threat of White Nationalism and White Supremacy. And, there is one party in America beholden to a leader who actively stokes, incites, and leverages it.
While it can be tempting to turn this into a partisan issue, though, doing so with our perusable friends who may otherwise identify as Republicans is a poor strategy for persuasion. Why? By labeling this as a Republican problem we inherently label this as their problem and cast them as carrying the blame personally.
Instead, in your discussion with persuadable friends I encourage you first and foremost to gain agreement that 1.) We have a real, unique problem in this country with gun violence and mass shootings that doesn’t exist elsewhere 2.) Our legislators have done nothing to solve those problems 3.) We can’t simply be content at inaction – we must try to stem the tide and that fundamentally requires legislation and 4.) White Nationalism is a clear, present, and serious threat to our democracy that all decent citizens must stand up to. If you cannot get agreement on those facts, don’t waste your energy any further.
If you can gain agreement on those four things you will be in position to take the next step with them – to address the fact that members of Congress, specifically from the Republican Party, are failing to represent the interests of the vast majority of Americans (including your Republican friends). And, that members of Congress, specifically from the Republican Party, have failed to stand up to the President when he uses overtly racist attacks.
Your friends can be the heroes we need by picking up the phone, as Republicans, and letting their elected officials know they demand action, and by demanding that their elected officials speak up against the bigotry from the very highest office in the land. They can also be heroes by committing to only support candidates who are committed to passing basic, widely supported, common sense legislation that will help save lives and those who represent our core, shared values.
Why does this matter? Because we will never win people over by attacking them. Winning requires organizing more people who support our cause AND persuading others to join us.
I know you’re angry. I know you’re outraged. I know you’re depressed over the state of this country. I am too.
However, we will never beat Trump at his own game. If the next 16 months are pure anger, and a reaction to Trump at every turn, he will get reelected.
However, if we’re able to tell a different, positive story about this country, inspire people with a vision for a better future, and speak directly to people’s needs we can win. We can rebuild the ties that bind us. We can rebuild an economy that works for everyone. We can rebuild a democracy where all are included. And, we can rebuild our standing in the world.
It’s not enough to be against him. We have to be for something. And we have to be for all Americans, and those who aspire to be.
More to come at our upcoming meeting on August 28th. You can click here to RSVP for the meeting which will begin at 6:30 pm at the Glenview Park Center.