My dorky 2016 pep talk for nervous liberals, progressives, and moderates

The polls have tightened. We have ourselves a real presidential race. Time for a dorky pep talk to everyone who wants to ensure that Donald Trump never becomes President.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

8 thoughts on “My dorky 2016 pep talk for nervous liberals, progressives, and moderates”

  1. I disagree with only thing in this video. Trump's election would be not a national catastrophe but a global one.

  2. People who wanted to ensure that Trump never attained the Presidency should have worked hard to ensure that H Clinton was not the Dem nominee. Two such remarkably unattractive nominees – each is very fortunate in his/her opponent. The race would not even be close if it were Warren/Trump or Clinton/JebBush. As it is: our sewage treatment plants need to get better treating the fragments coming their way from gnawed fingernails.

  3. Trump being elected would be a global, not just a national disaster. A standard-issue machine pol like Peña Nieto could handle him ok. But President Trump would also be dealing with Kim Jong-un, who last year had his defence minister executed by anti-aircraft gun, Ayatollah Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicolás Maduro and a good many other unsavoury, unstable, hostile, and otherwise unpleasant leaders. The chance of accidental nuclear war would be high, of another global financial panic higher.

    Not many of us can quite follow William the Silent's great admonition "One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere", but it's a lodestar in lesser shadows. I guess that this is a passing cloud. There is much more bad stuff to come from Trump.

    1. Does this mean that you worry about what happens when President Trump is "just being sarcastic" about bombing and invading North Korea, but that Kim Jong-un may not have a great sense of humor?

  4. The race is not close. We do not "have ourselves a real presidential race". There is an argument to be made for working harder on the House, but I have no idea why smart people think Sam Wang is wrong. Only if Sam Wang is really really wrong, for the very first time, do Harold's statements make sense. If you don't know who Sam Wang is, or what the PEC is, or their accuracy in predicting the last 6 or so election cycles, then you can do your emotions a lot of good by remedying that deficiency. This situation doesn't contradict byomtov or James' comments, which are of course true.

    1. It is not necessary to think Sam Wang is wrong to be nervous.

      If you told me that there is a 10% chance I will be shot dead when I step out of my front door tomorrow morning, I would be quite nervous.

  5. Slowwwwww……claaaaap. Bravissimo!

    Get the fuck out there, people. Canvass. Phone-bank. Put up signage. Tell your father and mother why it means so much to their granddaughers, and why they need to vote, and vote the right way. Volunteer for voter registration drives. Attend your county and district fundraisers. Talk to every Latino you know, and tell them to register, and tell them to vote absentee, if they're afraid of showing up in person. And if you live in colder climes, pass absentee ballots around your neighborhood, and vote absentee yourself. Vote early!!! Because you don't want a blizzard to keep you away from the polls. And for the most disadvantaged among us, you don't want a sick kid, a double-shift, a broken-down car, or anything like that to keep you away. So vote as soon as your state allows it.

    I've been working 500 miles a day in Iowa's 4th, where the wonderful Kim Weaver is fighting an uphill battle against the Most Loathsome Human Being In Washington, Steve King, (#SendKimATubman will link you to her donations page), and what Hillary has going for her is the foot soldiers. Trump has virtually no ground game, just bloviating name recognition. This will be won by organization.

    So please, folks, for all that's decent in America, VOLUNTEER, and toss a few bucks to down-ticket underdogs.

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