Come Together, Right Now

If you are like me, you have a favorite candidate to win the Democratic Primary, and you are scared as hell that neither your candidate, nor any of the other candidates in the field can beat an incumbent who is willing to stop at nothing to win. Before any of the voting and caucusing begins, it’s absolutely vital that we see how these two things connect.


I’ve done my homework, I’ve looked at each candidate’s climate plans -- all of which are the strongest we’ve ever seen, especially when compared to Donald Trump’s climate denial -- and I have a first choice to win the primary, and a second and a third. And from looking at my social media feeds, I can see that many of you do too. I am particularly inspired by how many of you are travelling to Iowa to help your candidate caucus, or are canvassing now in states like California to get ready for the big primaries there. That’s how this should work - fight hard for the person who most represents your values and vision for a better world.


But most of us won’t get our favorite candidate. And then it will be your second or third or even fourth choice going up against Donald Trump. I was inspired this weekend listening to the Pod Save America team as they were discussing this, and their main point was that NOW is the time to commit to support the eventual nominee no matter who it is. Trump is an existential threat. A second term would be cataclysmic for our democracy, our planet and our communities. Yes we must defeat Trumpism, and confront the underlying issues that got him elected in the first place. But the first step has to be making sure he is a one term president.


So here’s the call to action: think to yourself, what would I be willing to do for my favorite candidate in the primary? List those things out. And then make a public commitment on your favorite social media channels that you will do exactly that same thing for WHOEVER wins the nomination. It’s not simply enough to vote for the eventual nominee. We have to commit now to going all in. 


I have also noticed, both in social media and in conversations with friends and colleagues, a kind of jaded skepticism that we simply can’t beat Trump. I myself spent most of last year in a dark place convinced that we could not defeat him, especially in an electoral system that is rife with voter suppression, and where you can lose the election despite winning the popular vote by millions of votes. I even bet $10 with a colleague of mine that Trump would win.


But over time this colleague convinced me I was wrong. There are so many factors that go into the outcome, there is so much complexity, that it is a mistake to think we can know the result in advance. I began to see that what was really going on is that I was using my skepticism to prepare myself for the pain of another loss. But that kind of self protection is self-defeating and can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we believe Trump will win, he will win,


So I am ready to say here and now that I believe we can defeat Donald Trump. It will be hard. It will take the best organizing and campaigning we’ve ever done. It will require all of us to come together around the eventual nominee. We will all need to start writing letters and texting voters. We will need to start making plans to knock on doors. We can do this directly with the candidate, or with groups like the Sierra Club. Indeed, Sierra Club Independent Action will soon be launching the largest grassroots Get Out the Vote mobilization in our organization’s history. We need to fight like our lives depend on it. Because they do. So post this blog with the tag #ComeTogether, list the things you will do for the eventual nominee. And stay positive. We can do this. We are powerful, together.


By Jesse Simons, National Program Director


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