It's been a rough couple of weeks. Not only did we lose a champion for women's and LGBT rights, but it seems like many Republicans in the Senate are chomping at the bit to replace RBG with her antithesis. Amy Coney Barrett is pretty much everything that RBG was not. Barrett is anti-choice, pro-corporation, and anti-worker. She not only disagrees with Roe v. Wade, but also Griswold v. Connecticut, the case that granted married people the right to use birth control.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the reasoning used in Roe and Griswold, fear not! I have written another blog post about those two cases called, "So What's the Deal With Roe v. Wade, Anyway?" I highly recommend that you go back and read it when you're done reading this post.
So what can we do? Well, the first thing I did was donate money to Democrats who are challenging some particularly awful Republican Senators in November. I gave money to Amy McGrath, who is running to unseat Mitch "I apparently couldn't wait until RBG's body was cold before I announced that I plan to rush to replace her" McConnell. (Seriously, Mitch, that was really crappy of you.) I also gave money to Jaime Harrison, the Democrat who is running to unseat Lindsey "I am outraged that anyone would dare say that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them" Graham. (What the hell, Lindsey?)
There are some other Democrats that I gave money to. I gave money to Wendy Davis. She is running for Congress in Texas' 21st District. You may remember her from a few years ago when she made the news for standing for several hours to filibuster a law that would have closed the vast majority of the abortion clinics in Texas. I also gave money to Sara Gideon, who is running against Susan Collins from Maine. I will never forgive Susan Collins for confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, so I would love to see her go.
Another thing we all can do is volunteer our time to help their campaigns. Even if you don't live in their state, you can help by calling voters on the phone, or if you're like my friend David, and you hate talking to people, you can send text messages. When I worked on the No On Proposition 8 Campaign in 2008, my friend Mary Ellen made phone calls from Utah for us. (Which was pretty ironic, because the Mormons in Utah were sending a lot of money to the Yes On Proposition 8 Campaign.) It doesn't matter if you don't have any campaign experience. They can train you.
And even if you think that contacting voters is not your cup of tea, there are tons of other ways to get involved. A good friend of mine once said that whatever our talents are, we should bring them to a campaign. So whether your a pastry chef or a web designer, your talents can be put to use.
So please get in contact with a campaign you would like to support, and sign up to volunteer.
I have also been calling, sending postcards, and emailing certain senators who made statements in 2016 saying they would not hold a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland because it was an election year. But here they are during another election year, trying to push through a truly awful candidate days before November 3rd.
All of the senators I have been contacting are Republicans. And honestly, because of their earlier statements saying how they refused to consider Merrick Garland during an election year, but their complete hypocritical willingness to do the very same thing now, and much closer to the election, I might add, I am not sure these senators are capable of feeling shame. But to the extent that they are capable, I am sending out these messages in an attempt to shame them.
I also figure that even if I don't shame them, maybe I will shock and disillusion some poor young intern who is working for them (because Washington, D.C. runs on the backs of free labor from unpaid college interns). So maybe that young, idealistic intern will read my postcard, have a come to Jesus moment, and start to question their life choices that led to them working for the truly abhorrent and hypocritical senator they have come to work for. So, really, I guess I could say that I am doing it for the children.
In case you'd like to contact the senators who said that they would not confirm Merrick Garland during an election year, those senators are:
Senator Tom Cotton - Arkansas
Senator John Thune - South Dakota
Senator John Cornyn - Texas
Senator Ted Cruz - Texas
Senator Pat Toomey - Pennsylvania
Senator Chuck Grassley - Iowa
Senator Mike Lee - Utah
Senator Corey Gardner - Colorado
Senator Lindsey Graham - South Carolina (thought he made his statement in 2018 that if there were a vacancy during an election year when Trump was in office, he would want to wait until a new president was sworn in before moving forward on confirming a new nominee)
Senator Marco Rubio - Florida
Senator Ron Johnson - Wisconsin
Senator John Barrasso - Wyoming
Senator Steve Daines - Montana
Senator Steve Portman - Ohio
Senator Mitch McConnell - Kentucky
Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Senator Susan Collins from Maine have both made public statements that it would be improper to hold new confirmation hearings before a new president is sworn in. So I have sent thank you notes to both of these senators, and I have sent one thank you card to each of their offices, both in Washington, D.C. and in their home states.
Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself. Do it for America. Do it for RBG.
I'm doing some more research into other things that can be done, so I will be writing another blog post about that soon.
So stay tuned! And stay safe out there. We need you.