Leave It All On The Field

Summer in Iowa

(Trish Nelson will return to the editor’s desk on Monday. I hope you found value in some of my posts the last four weeks).

As Joe Biden and company build an organization to defeat Donald Trump part of its energy comes from active Democrats. That’s to be expected. At the same time, the coalition Biden built is broad and more diverse. It has to be to bring in the votes needed to assure victory. Democratic votes alone won’t win the Nov. 3 election.

Democrats are a distance from being able to claim victory over Trump and his enablers.

The deciding factor may well be that much energy to defeat Trump must come from people with little connection to Democrats. Their allegiance is to something else — not politics — and their activism is energized by how the administration negatively impacts them personally. There are also Republicans unwilling to shed Republican values yet who believe electing Trump was a mistake and he must be removed through the ballot box.

With such a coalition, if the president is re-elected we haven’t worked hard enough. A lot can and will happen before the election. The hurricane of information is just forming to wreck havoc on our political life. To win we have to set aside our personal causes and follow the lead of our candidates. We must give up part of our individualism to work toward a greater good. If Angela Davis is on board with Biden almost any liberal should be too.

What does that mean?

Don’t shed a bucket of liberal tears over the current disaster in governance. Is current policy bad? Yes, it is. Are Republicans corrupt? Yes, some of them are. Can it be fixed? I don’t know and the only path to finding out is to hunker down and elect Democratic candidates from Biden on down the ticket to soil commissioner and dog catcher. Liberal tears are a distraction from the fundamental fact that Democrats, and most Americans, are good people with a desire to improve our common life.

Stay focused. Pick a couple of things you can do to support Democratic candidates. Got a few dollars left over in your bank account after monthly bills are paid? Donate part of it to your favorite candidates. Don’t know who the candidates are? Get a sample ballot from your county auditor and study it. Got friends and relatives? Make sure each of them is registered to vote. Encourage them to vote.

Develop a way of dealing with the noise. There will be a lot of radio, television, internet, and print ads. A lot of friends and neighbors will want to talk about “politics” and repeat awful falsehoods. Listen, consider, and think before reacting. Correct people where you can, tolerate where you must. Engender a sense that we are all in this together because we are.

Deal with the coronavirus. We’re no good to anyone unless we are healthy. The first wave of the pandemic is upon us and there is no easy fix to it. Do all the things health professionals recommend: wear a mask in public, get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have been with someone diagnosed with the disease, wash hands frequently, sanitize your hands immediately after shopping, and stay home when it’s possible to do so.

Don’t pay attention to the polls. The polls indicate Joe Biden stands a good chance of winning the Electoral College. Act like he is ten points behind and do something to further his electoral prospects. Do what you feel comfortable doing. Then pick something outside your comfort zone and try that too.

Above all else, be part of the solution to the disastrous problems caused by current Republican governance. The opportunity we have today is to elect Joe Biden president. Let’s go do it!

If we can make the change in elected officials then we can talk about the long, hard path to re-inventing America to be better than ever. As they say in sports, leave it all on the field.

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