Today I turn 75. In all those years, I’ve never asked for anything to mark the day. This year is different. For six months I have been all in on our Florida Facebook campaign to block Trump’s path to an Electoral College victory and save Social Security in the process. With limited resources, our campaign is delivering results.
Now Donald Trump has raised the electoral stakes by threatening to violate a core tenet of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power by loser to winner. This is a bridge too far, a direct assault on our democracy which requires that we mobilize as never before.
A Florida victory for Biden has taken on greater significance this week. It is not only the key battleground state, but its early vote count and declaration of a winner could enable Trump’s reported scheme to declare victory on election night and challenge subsequent votes as a part and the proof of his “great ballot scam” claims.
We have reached out to over 100,000 Florida voters 55+ with our Social Security messages, persuading the undecided and strengthening support for Biden voters. With more money we can reach up to 450,000 folks who fit our profile of persuadable or committed voters on this issue. With enough support we can also begin to turn the corner to a major get out the vote effort and, if possible, expand our work to Arizona.
Thus my once in a lifetime birthday request:
Please dig deep and give all you can to secure Trump’s early retirement.
Why am I so passionate about this?
We all have our critique of how Donald Trump has handled or mishandled his four years in office. I probably share many if not most of those. But this latest assault on our democracy stirs the intense patriot that has always lurked within me. I have gone about my career in making institutions work better without wearing my deeply held American values on my sleeve. My years of public service and private sector change have been diverse and effective. I helped end the Vietnam war and draft, built community clinics and conflict resolution programs and spent the last three decades promoting flexible and remote work (victory at last!)
The values that underlay this work were formed in my working class youth. I aspired to be an all-American boy. I was a bible reader who never missed a Lutheran church service, choir practice or Sunday school session. I was a boy scout in relentless search of merit badges and looked forward to joining ROTC in college before becoming an office in the army. I entered Stanford in 1963 as a scholarship student with a loan and half-time job and as a true believer in Barry Goldwater as the Republican savior.
Four years of profound education, including a six-month stint at our Italy campus, challenged and changed my worldview. In my senior year, I faced the choices thrust upon young men of our cohort by the military draft: to enlist, be drafted, refuse and risk prison or leave the country. It was a wrenching time of life-and-death decisions that disrupted lives and career plans and sorted the deeply Americans from the would-be Canadians.
There existed throughout that period a group of people who sought to evade all those hard choices with a series of deceptions. Under the broad rubric of “draft dodgers”, they ranged from those whose parents pulled strings to many who faked physical and mental ailments that dis-qualified them from service. Those of us who made the hard choices – bearing arms in Asia, refusing induction and becoming felons or leaving the country – held these liars in contempt. I felt it then and still do.
It was inconceivable then that a supreme coward like Donald Trump, whose daddy’s doctors and alleged bone spurs would excuse him from service, could ever rise to the Presidency and the role of Commander-in-Chief. But this is where we find ourselves. Here is a man whose signature TV line is “you’re fired” but lacks the personal courage to terminate someone face-to-face. Yet this inveterate coward thinks he can “fire” the Constitution and the fundamental American tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. This is unacceptable.
Slamming the door on election night
Whatever your personal or political motivations, do not miss this opportunity to join a unique campaign that could just secure the margins needed to send Trump packing to Mar-a-Lago for good. It is great that Michael Bloomberg can spend 100 million dollars for ads and paying off felon’s fines and that more committees than we can count are planning to run saturation ads in Florida. But the polls are extremely tight and all this may not be enough.
What Facebook allows us to do is develop an ongoing conversation with likely voters and work through their peer networks to build the margins. Recalling Gore v. Bush in Florida with its 537 vote margin or the close contests in 2016’s “Blue Wall”, every vote really counts – especially in Florida this year. We are engaged with voters every day and will be until November 3.
Help us write history and begin to rebuild America. There is no better investment.