Reno bound

We are driving to Reno on Friday at noon and returning Sunday night after dinner. We can fit two people in our car who would like to join in with the canvassing Saturday and Sunday. We have a place to stay for two, so anyone who drives with us will have to find a place to stay (Swing Left may be able to help with this). Get in touch if you want to come along.

If you can’t travel to knock on doors, Swing Left has lots of good phone banks. This election will be decided by turn-out so let’s turn them out.

Don’t chew your nails. Get your pen out.

Vote Forward ( has chosen five vital campaigns to boost this week for the last week of letter-writing. If you want to write some letters, I am happy to print them and put them on our porch. We have lots of stamps. This will be a close election and your letter could be the one that makes the difference! Get in touch with any questions or for any supplies.

Recommended essay in the NY Times

The opening paragraphs alone are enough to endorse it, for the understated view of the situation.

By Anand Giridharadas. Non-paywalled link.

Polls swing this way and that way, but the larger story they tell is unmistakable. With the midterm elections, Americans are being offered a clear choice between continued and expanded liberal democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other. And it’s more or less a dead heat.

It is time to speak an uncomfortable truth: The pro-democracy side is at risk not just because of potential electoral rigging, voter suppression and other forms of unfair play by the right, as real as those things are. In America (as in various other countries), the pro-democracy cause — a coalition of progressives, liberals, moderates, even decent Republicans who still believe in free elections and facts — is struggling to win the battle for hearts and minds.

The pro-democracy side can still very much prevail. But it needs to go beyond its present modus operandi, a mix of fatalism and despair and living in perpetual reaction to the right and policy wonkiness and praying for indictments.

NY Times

Team Fascist has been more successful because they are more experienced and determined at engaging the electorate at psychological and emotional levels. A liberal response based in various dry policy issues doesn’t engender similar loyalty or enthusiasm. To Giridharadas’s taste, the Inflation Reduction Act is better policy than the student loan cancellation which he says is something of a mixed bag—but the latter has the chance to be life-changing for voters who will not forget it, and the former is more abstract, and wasn’t sold to voters as a liberal accomplishment. Not for the first (or last) time, Republican candidates are taking credit for the capital improvements in their districts financed by a law they voted against.

I was also endeared to the article by its pointing out the Democrats are much better at asking you for money—over and over again—than at fostering a sense of participation and membership. It’s always nice to have priors confirmed, when he points out how the Right uses church groups, shooting ranges, and other places to cement emotional membership. There are too few Democratic groups doing the same. We can be proud of belonging to just such a group.

Fighting Fascism should be, occasionally, fun. Not just the constant feeling of dread.

Minutes from the Oct 9 meeting

We spent time writing letters. Many letters. Many races.

Link for Grandmothers for a Brighter Future.

Our acquaintances fall on both sides of Berkeley Measure L (bonds). Here is part of an email for a Town Hall in favor of L. (Yes, that is tomorrow.)

Please join us for a Town Hall
Wednesday, October 12 7:00 – 8:30 PM – BY ZOOM
To Learn About Measure L
RSVP by Clicking HERE
Measure L is a Bond Measure to Renew Berkeley
Pro-L Town Hall Invitation

We will be at College and Ashby on Friday, October 14, at 4:00 to hawk our Defend Democracy yard signs.

Note, I have recorded money given to me for signs from Bruce and Jane. There are two of you whose donations I missed; please let me know who you are.

Meeting Sunday 9/24, 4:00 pm

Usual place. As I mentioned before, we will have special guests by Zoom. We will, of course, put them up on a screen here, but anyone who doesn’t plan on attending in person can watch with this link. Please join this a few minutes’ early: to prevent any embarrassing Zoom-bombing, you won’t be admitted until I can approve that we know you. (The Zoom part of the meeting will start at 4:30.)

Any friends who may want to donate… the link is above.

Let me also mention that Mandela Barnes is the only 50/50-or-better Democratic Senate candidate with fundraising woes. The Republican SuperPACs are coming to rescue Ron Johnson, if they can; they are cutting their losses by conceding Arizona and redirecting the ad money.