like if this gets to the point where our midterm elections are a complete farce. what do we do? asking genuinely because i have no idea what to expect.
This is another question that I have no answer to. We’ve been here before as a country, but not in living memory and not with any kind of good outcome. But here’s my best stab at this.
Focusing on “what if it all goes wrong in two years” is, to be brutal to you, unhelpful, because it prevents us from doing everything we can to make sure it goes right in two years. (Right as in correct, not right as in… fuck it you know what I mean.) Thinking “what difference will this make, X will happen anyway” is kind of what got us to the DELIGHTFUL place we are today w/r/t Trump and nazis and all the rest of it. A better question for you to pose is: “what do we do to ensure our midterm elections aren’t a complete farce?” And there I think I can toss out some ideas (and as ever people, add stuff and let me know what I get wrong, because I’m just some random asshole on the internet).
Voter ID laws are going to increase by a LOT in the next two years, and they’re going to be enforced much more stringently; fighting them is important but so is complying with them, paradoxically, because if we are so busy fighting the disenfranchisement of our voters that we do not help enough vulnerable yet eligible people to get registered, we’re still going to lose in 2018. So call your county registrar (or however your state handles registering voters - in Texas it’s handled at the county level) and see if you can sign up to be a volunteer registrar. That’s something I myself am gonna do when they have their next training session in February. Get involved and get used to (once you become a registrar) taking forms with you wherever you go and asking perfect strangers, “hey, are you registered to vote?” and helping them through the process if they’re interested. That’s a kind of extroverty thing to do and I know a lot of people can’t do it, which I totally respect! But it’s necessary, so if this is something you can do but don’t wanna, then… well, suck it up, buttercup, we’re all doing shit we don’t want to do. You can also find local groups that are registering people and work with them, perhaps in a non-having-to-talk-to-strangers-everyday capacity. Another way to help voter turnouts is to join up with your local political chapter on either the city, county, or even state level and see what events/activities/meetings they’re doing lately.
Getting more in the face of your current reps is also important in the coming months and years; find out if/when your state reps, your governor, your Congressman, and your Senators are having town halls or public appearances and show up. Call them as often as you’re angry about something. Let them hear you and let them be unable to drown out your voice. If you can’t dislodge a rep from the opposite party, at least let him/her know that you’re not going anywhere; you can absolutely push extremists toward the center, and centrists toward your end of the political spectrum, through sustained activism and pressure. I have little faith that my own Congressman Lamar Smith is going anywhere in ‘18, but I’m gonna make him wet his bed every night, that’s for sure. And hey, miracles happen every day - Eric Cantor got ousted in ‘14 *granted, by a Tea Partier in his primary who was even more of a cockwaffle, but STILL. It can happen. We can make it happen.
And if you, like me, live in a place that’s not considered a swing possibility, check out swingleft.org, which will take your address and show you the nearest swing district; you can then see what you can do to help them out. Indivisible is also doing some interesting work; others can speak more to their virtues, since I haven’t done all that much with them yet, but so far those two are the ones I’m hearing the most about w/r/t concrete action. But again, anybody have any other orgs that they’d like to shout out, lemme know!
In conclusion, and if you’ll allow me a moment of being Galadriel, which I have desperately wanted to be for years and which is never gonna happen in real life: even the smallest person can change the course of the future. So don’t worry about what’ll happen if the midterms are a farce; roll up your sleeves and work to make sure they aren’t.