I didn’t think I was going to do it this election cycle. The Citizen’s United decision made me so mad and made me feel so small and inconsequential . The concept of unlimited corporate money versus my puny donation. Really, what would it matter?
In the past I have given money; sometimes a great deal of it. I have donated to the Democratic Party. I donated to the Hillary campaign four years ago (and even paid enough to go see her in person). After she lost, I gave to the Obama campaign. We just had to take back the White House. I gave to the DSCC. I gave to my local campaigns too. Probably most importantly, I gave my time. I phone banked by calling on swing state voters to get out and vote. I hosted MoveOn films and more phone banks at my house. I felt empowered and involved.
Then I was neutered by Citizen’s United.
Because I did everything above, I am on phone list after phone list. I get emails and solicitations for more money every friggin’ day of my life right now. I’ve been turning them all down. I tell the young sounding women who call, “Thank you for what you’re doing. I know what it’s like to be on the other side of this phone line. But I can’t in good conscience donate money because what would my donation even mean when two individuals can give more than this entire campaign can raise? I haven’t seen the president rally in opposition to this ruling that is ruining our democracy. I haven’t seen anybody get really, truly mad, except poor schlubs like me who are now nothing. Why are we working so hard to raise a thousand dollars when one check from a billionaire is all you need?” Ok, so I haven’t said all of that in one call. But I have said variations of those sentiments again and again and again.
And you know what? I’m not alone. I can hear it in their voices when they respond with their disappointment. They must be thinking, “oh, here is another one of our supporters that we’re losing.” Yes, of course I’ll vote Democratic. Of course. But my money would be better served in my own pocket, thankyouverymuch.
Then today, I saw the headline at the Huffington Post where the GOP is kicking the a$$ of the DNC. I saw what corporate money did in Wisconsin. I see that voter rolls are being reduced all over this country. The more red the state, the less likely they will ever lose again due to the disenfranchisement of people like me. Well, not people like me. I’m neither minority nor poor. And I live in a blue state. But screw it. I’ve had enough.
Today, I opened up my wallet and made the first of what will likely be several thousand dollars worth of donations leading up to this election. I may not be able to compete with the billionaires out there who are only interested in getting richer and destroying the fabric of the United States, but I will not go down without a fight. F^ck those guys. And I’m going to phone bank too.
Because, when I get knocked down, I get back up again. I hope you’re with me. Time to roll up the sleeves and get back to work.