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    No Tricks, No Treats: Just VOTE!

    By Andrea Shorter–

    As I’m writing this there are five days and counting until mid-term election day. 

    In the few days and hours left, what more can be said other than these four words: Get Out The Vote!

    The tricks and treats of last evening’s Halloween have come and gone, and in their wake, we now have more than just a few new things to add to the checklist of fresh hell-a madness that should not be happening but, sister, you better believe they are happening under this relentless reign of terror dispatched and inspired from the nation’s biggest bully from the highest bully pulpit:

    Check One: Homemade explosive devices mailed to Democratic leaders, including two former U.S. Presidents, a former U.S. Vice President, a former Secretary of State, Congressional members, and a Hollywood actor—all of whom who have who have been rightfully and thankfully critical of a dangerous, gloating and self-declared “nationalist” U.S. President.

    Check Two: Same bomb threats delivered to CNN, a chief target of the President’s crusade against the free press and media as “enemies of the people.” Isn’t it interesting that the same press and media that made him the celebrity fake mogul reality star that eventually catapulted him to the White House are now the enemy of the people?

    Check Three: Ordering the erasure—yes, erasure—of transgender people from the public record, public acknowledgement, dignity and the right to exist. Yes, it’s happening. This purge might just be more gasoline thrown upon the bonfire to gin up his base, but it is happening.

    Check Four: The October 27 massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh by an anti-Semitic suspect who posted several messages supporting parts of President Trump’s political agenda.

    What more horrific transgressions can we bare that will clearly demonstrate the need for a change? Who knows what else will have transpired between now and November 6 to ratchet up and manufacture divisive culture wars to rally a waning base of supporters to push back against a blue, pink or brown wave to save our republic, and to put back some semblance of check and balance against this dictatorial domination of all three branches of government.

    If there were a rally call out from this President to bring back public lynchings to whip up his followers, sadly, would we be surprised? Shocked? Maybe. Surprised? We are in such a deep, dark murky fresh hell of madness that, well, I don’t know if such an ugly, irresponsible and careless proposition from this leader would be of any surprise.

    But isn’t that the point? Keep throwing out so many offensive offensive tactics that we’ll become comfortably numb, too weak and overwhelmed to defend ourselves against the indefensible positioned as offense, too checked out and too afraid to fight back? Oh, and don’t forget distracted. At least no one is talking about Russia, election interferences, investigations, convictions, indictments, or any other such trivialities.

    Resist. Stay woke.

    Blue wave. Pink wave. Brown wave. Green wave. Whatever floats your boat, and keeps all good boats afloat, just VOTE.

    Now is the time. Time to join a phone bank, text bank, walk some precincts, knock on some doors, put up that window sign, give that $3+ to those local, state and congressional candidates who will stand up for our civil rights, our right to exist as transgender, our rights to free speech, our rights to vote as citizens without threat or clearly suppressive tactics, the constitutional rights of a free press, the rights of immigrant families not to have their children ripped away from them and put in cages, women’s reproductive rights, to stand up for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence without fear of being vilified, our rights to equal pay, livable wages, our rights not to be fired from jobs in half of the states because of how and whom we love, our rights to clean water, air and for scientific fact that our environment is in grave peril.

    It is time to support candidates who will stand up to the bullying, the bigotry, the fear-mongering, the lies, the hubris, the racist dog whistling, the misogyny, the transphobia, the name calling, the hatred and the white nationalism.

    Really, what more can be said? Come on now, we got this. Si se puede!

    I gotta run now. Time to get back to getting out the vote.

    Andrea Shorter is a Commissioner and the former President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights, and marriage equality. A Co-founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.