This coming November, we face the prospect of Donald Trump, the most unqualified and dangerous candidate in memory, becoming president of the United States.
I am asking you today to support me over the next three months, from now until the election, in a campaign to utterly destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy, send Hillary Clinton to the White House, and help elect a progressive majority to Congress.
You can contribute with a credit card via this page, via the large convenient form below, or by sending a check made out to “John Aravosis” to my PO Box:
PO Box 1532
Long Island City, NY 11101-9998
I am asking you to help me raise a minimum of $25,000 for the next three months. The more we raise, the more we can do — including creating hard-hitting pop-up Web sites and viral graphics, buying online ads, making my Facebook Live broadcasts more professional, and also bringing more people on board this campaign.
In a nutshell, I am an activist for hire. Hire me.
I’m going to place the donation form below, for those who already know of my 25 year commitment to progressive advocacy, and don’t need any more convincing. But after the form, please keep reading, as I’ve written a long description of the work I’ve done over the years for progressive causes, and an explanation of why I think I’m uniquely qualified for this mission to take on Donald Trump.
And finally, a quick word about donations. First, they’re not tax-deductible, sorry. Second, you can make a one-time donation, or a recurring donation each month — meaning, you can give, say, $25 once or $25 per month. It’s up to you, just click the appropriate button.
Now, I will make one extraordinary request to those who can afford it. There are some people of means who every election donate the maximum to their candidate of choice. That means they give $2,700 during the primaries, and another $2,700 during the general election. I’d like to ask those people to consider maxing out to me as well. Hillary has already raised nearly $700 million this campaign. And that’s great. But think of what I can accomplish with a mere $25,000 — or, if people are really generous, $50,000. This election is exceptional, so I am making an exceptional request. Thank you. (And don’t forget to read the rest of this post, below the fundraising form.)
First, a word about polls
First, let’s have a word about the polls. I know some people might think, “hey, Hillary is so far ahead of Donald Trump in the polls, we’ve already won this!” I disagree. We’re still nearly three months from the election, and a lot can change between now and then — and historically, it has. Candidates who were doing great right after the convention, lost. And candidates who were written off after the convention, eventually won in November.
We simply cannot assume that we’re going to win in November. That’s a recipe for an upset victory for the other guy. We need to pull out all the stops to not only beat Donald Trump, but to utterly destroy his candidacy and everything it stands for. (It’s just as important to repudiate the hate and intolerance surrounding Trump’s candidacy, as the candidate himself.) We need to beat Trump so badly that a tsunami of support for Hillary Clinton sweeps a progressive majority into both houses of Congress. In fact, GOP control of the Senate is already looking in danger. If we play our cards right, we could get control of the White House, the Senate and the US House. But we can’t be complacent, or we could still lose this.
I’ve been a uniquely effective progressive advocate for over 20 years
As many of you know, I created AMERICAblog in 2004 because I could no longer sit back and watch George Bush destroy our country. In less than a year, with the help of Jeff Gannon, AMERICAblog became one of the country’s most influential political blogs, called recommended reading by Mother Jones and the NYT.
By 2004 when AMERICAblog launched, I had already been a vocal LGBT rights advocate for over a decade. I began my LGBT rights advocacy in 1993, working with Senator Kennedy’s office fighting the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and then a year later helping them prepare the ENDA hearings. But I was itching to do more.
A few years later, in 1998, I created a Web site, Mathew Shepard Online Resources, credited with helping the Matthew Shepard story go viral, and with organizing over 70 candlelight vigils nationwide. My subsequent LGBT rights work earned me a place in the Out 100 and the Advocate 50 (rankings of the most influential LGBT people in America).
That was the beginning of a long string of successful progressive viral advocacy campaigns that I launched with little to no funding, simply relying on the charity of my friends and my innate ability to tap into the Internet to stir up trouble for the greater good.
Since that time, I have taken on and beaten everyone from big business to big politics. My successful advocacy targets have included America Online, Microsoft, Ford Motor Company, Merriam-Webster, Barilla Pasta, Mars Inc., BP, Dr. Laura, the Department of Defense, Jeff Gannon, George Bush and Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, and Russian President Putin.
Here’s a small sampling of the successful online advocacy campaigns I’ve worked on:
We made your cell phone more secure
It used to be legal in America for anyone to buy your cell phone records online. I took that story, that no one wanted to report on, and made it explode. The day my story published, three of the four national networks covered it. After months of outrage, Congress passed a bill making the practice illegal, and President Bush signed it into law. As a result, it is no longer legal in America for someone to buy your cell phone records online.
We caught BP lying during the Gulf spill
At the height of the BP oil spill, I exposed the fact that BP was lying on its Web site about its spill response, and the story went viral.
We caught the Obama administration preparing to defend DOMA
AMERICAblog broke the huge story that the Obama administration was planning to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. Our two-year campaign on this issue resulted in President Obama changing his mind, and opposing DOMA in court.
We broke the story of Pres. Obama “evolving” on marriage equality
In an interview with AMERICAblog’s then-deputy Joe Sudbay, President Obama revealed that he was “evolving” on the issue of marriage equality. Sudbay’s interview was so impassioned that it struck a chord with the President; as was evidenced a few weeks later when Obama cornered Sudbay at the White House Holiday party and read him the riot act. When a blog can get the attention of the President of the United States, it is worth supporting.
What about ads, you might ask?
While we do run ads on AMERICAblog, they don’t raise much revenue, and haven’t since the economy crashed in 2008. Ad revenue covers less than 20% of my monthly expenses. Up until now, I’ve made up the difference through my online marketing consulting work. But there’s a fly in the ointment: When I consult, I don’t have time to blog or do much activism. That’s why I’m now asking for your help.
There’s also a third option: Working for an organization. And I tried that last year. I was fortunate enough to get a full-time staff job at the United Nations in New York City. As an international civil servant, I had more pay and benefits than I ever dreamed of. But the job came with a catch: I wasn’t permitted to blog, or tweet, or do anything else related to politics. And I found over my year at the UN that I not only missed politics, but I missed making a difference on issues that really mattered. That’s why I ultimately left the UN, and returned to blogging and politics.
Even if my income and retirement are both now less secure, I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I’m back to helping people, and hopefully making a difference for my country and the world — and that’s all that’s mattered. But advocacy and good deeds don’t pay the bills. That’s why I need your support.
Why support me in particular?
Part of what makes me such a uniquely effective advocate is that I’ve been working in national politics for over 25 years, and in online advocacy for over 20.
I actually coined the phrase “cyber-disobedience” in 1995, shortly after I began working at the Children’s Defense Fund (the nation’s premier child poverty fighting organization). As soon as I got to CDF, I immediately recognized the potential for using the Internet to build communities of like-minded individuals whose collective voice could influence government and business. I built a huge online child advocacy network at CDF, and then helped other progressive clients like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, AFSCME, AIDS Action, and Amnesty USA strengthen their own Internet advocacy.
What also makes me an effective advocate is my experience: In addition to my background in politics, I’m also a lawyer and professional journalist. I have a joint law degree and masters in foreign service from Georgetown, and have worked as a stringer for the Economist, among other writing jobs. I’ve also worked in the US Senate, at the World Bank, and at the United Nations. I bring a lot of diverse experience to my advocacy work, and that’s one of the reasons I’m so good at what I do.
Here’s the thing about being an effective advocate. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not enough to care, and it’s not enough to be angry — though both are important. In order to be effective, you have to know how to work the system in order to make positive change. And I have proven time and again that I am one of the best at doing just that.
Won’t you please support my campaign to defeat Donald Trump?
Between now and November, I will work tirelessly to defeat Donald Trump, put Hillary Clinton in the White House, and help elect a progressive majority to the US Senate and US House. But I need your help to do it. The only way I can continue campaigning against Trump is with your support.
Over the years, your support has helped me do so much good already.
We raised over $300,000 for progressive candidates and causes over the years.
But we also raised $5,400 to help US troops buy body armor in Iraq.
And we raised thousands (I want to say it was $13,000) to support a single mom in the south who was fired from her organ-playing job at the church because they found out that after-hours she also played the piano at a gay cocktail lounge. You guys stepped up and we helped her out, in a big way.
And often our advocacy wasn’t about money at all. Sometimes it was about simply having someone there to fight for your right to visit your partner in the hospital.
And other times it was about exposing bullies. We were at the forefront of exposing Vladimir Putin’s homophobia in Russia, highlighting the abhorrent state-sanctioned kidnappings of LGBT Russians, and working to get Russian assets banned from state pension funds in the US. And we, along with Dan Savage, Queer Nation NY and a few other friends, led the Russian vodka boycott that made Russia’s homophobic human rights abuses international news.
And sometimes our work is about education. We took the lead in educating Americans, and the world, about the Salvation Army’s ongoing homophobia.
And when few were paying attention, we led the battle to defend the rights of gay and trans people in Tennessee when Republicans in that state wanted to rescind their civil rights.
Won’t you help me take down Donald Trump
Between now and the election, with your support, I will give my all to make sure Donald Trump loses on November 8, and a progressive majority takes over the Congress.
Your support will make it possible for us to publish more of the hard-hitting reporting you’ve known us for over the years. And your support will help us promote the most damning stories using Facebook ads and other online advertising.
And as part of this campaign, I promise a much amplified social media presence over the next three months. Twitter has become an increasingly important way of crafting the political debate. And I’m fortunate enough to have some 80,000 Twitter followers between my various accounts, and they include a large number of influential followers in politics and the media. This gives me a unique ability to influence the debate. (One of my recent tweets criticizing Trump has been shared nearly 8,000 times.)
And finally, between now and November 8, I will do a Facebook Live broadcast every weekday (and sometimes on weekends, if there’s news), providing my daily analysis of the election. (You can watch some of my recent broadcasts here and here and here and here.)
One of the things that always made AMERICAblog great was that we brought to our work a deep understanding of politics. Unlike any other blog at the time, we had actually worked in Washington, DC for some of the most influential people in town. And that gave us an insight into not only the news of the day, but it also gave us a unique perspective on how to create change. I believe it’s one of the key reasons we’re so effective at what we do.
Over the past 25 years I have proven that I am good at what I do, and in fact, better than most. I am a committed progressive and LGBT advocate who is not only fearless in speaking truth to power, but who knows how to win. And I do.
Won’t you please support my work, support this campaign. Let’s make AMERICAblog great again, and teach Donald Trump and the Republicans a lesson they’re never going to forget.
I’m going to close with that wonderful Margaret Mead quote that we used a lot while working at the Children’s Defense Fund. It’s become a mainstay of my work, because after all these years, it’s still so true.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.
You can donate to the campaign via the form above, or on this page. Thank you so much for your ongoing support, JOHN.