We’re looking for at least one Christian in your congregation—Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant—to go first by speaking out about their plans to vote against Donald Trump and his allies, and to vote for the common good.
You can speak out in writing or by video using your smartphone.
It could take you as little as three to five minutes to take a brave and bold step by going first.
If you go first, others will follow. You’ll give permission to others to join you in voting for the common good over partisan interest. You might stir up a little trouble too—but sometimes, that’s what it takes to bring the change we need. (We have lots of supportive information to help you deal with any pushback.)
It just takes three steps:
Step 1: Understand
Understand the big idea behind “We’ll Go First”
Many Evangelical, Catholic, and Mainline Protestant voters have deep concerns about supporting Donald Trump and his associates. Their conscience is bothered by lies, children in cages, abuse of power, obstruction of justice, name-calling and indecency, racial and partisan divisiveness, corruption, and a general meanness of spirit. But they feel their religious leaders and communities are united in supporting Donald Trump and his allies no matter what they do.
Our goal is to recruit as many people in as many churches, denominations, and religious organizations as possible to wake up, speak up, and stand up to signal to others that there is a viable alternative to the Religious Right and its absolute support for Donald Trump.
Our message is clear and unapologetic: I am a sincere, committed, wholehearted Evangelical, Catholic, or Mainline Protestant Christian. On November 3, 2020, I’m going to vote for the common good, which means voting against Donald Trump, his political allies, and their destructive policies. If you feel the same way, will you go next?
Step 2: Write or Record
Your message needs to be as simple as ABCD
Authentic: Your message must come from the heart and not simply be the regurgitation of cliches or talking points. We encourage you to show up as you and speak from the heart, not from anybody else’s talking points.
Brief: Short and simple messages get through, so make your video message brief — thirty to sixty seconds is good, and make your written message 100 – 250 words or less. People who want to say more can create more than one brief message.
Clear: You should name one to three specific and clear reasons you are committed to voting for the common good and against Trump and his allies. And don’t go on tangents. Let’s keep this clear and focused.
Decent: Please do not imitate the President by calling names or hurling insults. Instead, model the honesty and mutual respect we need in our public discourse.
If you’re using video, you might want to write it out — or you might just want to improvise and be spontaneous. Do whatever works best for you. Please record with your phone turned horizontal (or landscape), be sure you’re in a well-lit room, minimize background noise, and speak from your heart!
Here’s a template for you to use
We encourage you to use this basic format:
Identify: Hi. I’m (first name), and I’m a member of (full name and location of your congregation).
Commit: On November 3, 2020, I’ll be voting for the common good and against Donald Trump and his allies.
Explain: I can’t support Donald Trump and his allies because (offer one to three of your top reasons). The Idea Generator below can help you organize your reasons.
Invite: That’s why, on November 3, 2020, I’ll vote for the common good and against Donald Trump, his allies, and their dangerous policies. I hope you will join me now in sharing your reasons for voting for the common good. Will you go next?
Please use these hashtags: #GoFirstVCG #ChristiansAgainstTrump and include a link to votecommongood.com/go-first
Here’s one of our first “go-firsters,” sharing his message, using ABCD (authentic, brief, clear, decent) and identify, commit, explain, invite.
Hi, I’m Brian McLaren. I’m the grandson of missionaries, and I grew up in an Evangelical Christian family. For many years, I was an Evangelical church planter and pastor. I now work as a writer and speaker and attend St.Mark’s Episcopal Church in Marco Island, Florida.
My faith and spiritual values compel me to vote for the common good. That means I’ll be voting against Donald Trump and his allies in national, state, and local government.
For me, the common good means treating one another with respect, not calling names. It means telling the truth and not barraging people with lies or attacking journalists who are seeking to report the truth. It means caring for the environment, and not withdrawing from the Paris agreement or opening up protected lands for rich corporations to exploit. In short, it means seeing the government as a servant of all the people, and not just one’s own interests, one’s own party or race or religion, and one’s rich friends. I believe in the common good because of my Christian faith, and especially because of the example and teaching of Jesus.
Because Donald Trump and his allies are undermining these values that matter so much to me, I’ll be looking for other candidates in 2020. I hope you’ll join me, whatever your religion and political party, and vote common good. #GoFirstVCG #ChristiansAgainstTrump
If you’d like to go next, follow the steps here: votecommongood.com/go-first
See What Others are Saying
We want you to show up as yourself and not simply repeat someone else’s talking points. But this list might help you get started.
Reasons Common Good Voters Will Vote Against Donald Trump in 2020:
- Name-calling, retaliation, mean-spiritedness
- Credibly accused of sexually assaulting many women
- Over 13,000 lies have been documented, with more every day
- Sowing seeds of discord, division, distrust
- Sympathy and affinity with Vladimir Putin and Russia
- Betrayal of allies, including NATO and the Kurds
- Withdrawal from the Paris accords
- Affinity with White Supremacists, failure to lead after Charlottesville
- Failure to act regarding mass shootings, subservience to the NRA
- Impeachment process reveals violation of Constitution and general corruption
- Mueller report reveals collusion with the Russians
- Lack of moral character and decency
- Disrespect towards women and anyone who doesn’t praise him
- Appears to be narcissistic and psychologically unsuitable for the Presidency
- Hypocrisy, double standard – attacks others for things he does himself
- Is using the presidency to make money at his resorts, etc.
- Crassness and arrogance are an embarrassment
- Appears ignorant and unwilling to learn
- Turns on people. They’re “great people” one day. “I never knew them” the next
- Stirs up racial resentment and fear of immigrants
- Leans toward fascism by vilifying minority groups
- Has discredited the presidency and our national standing in the world
- Obstructed justice with Barr against Mueller report
- Ukraine scandal with Rudy Giuliani
- Associates with convicted criminals like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone
- Acts like a cult leader and people develop a cult-like following at his rallies
- Supported “lock her up” and similar cries at rallies, dictator-like
- Muslim ban was unAmerican and unconstitutional
- Speaks like a dictator or strong-man, not a public servant
- Appears arrogant, uninformed, and overconfident, when true leadership calls for wisdom and humility
- Seems obsessed with power and money, not legality or morality
- Sets an example I would be ashamed for my children to follow
- Has thrown our allies under the bus
- Has undermined our military, intelligence, and judicial institutions
Help! I’m Getting Attacked!
Politics and religion are about policies and beliefs, but they’re also about tribes … about people belonging and feeling that others in their group are like-minded and therefore “safe.”
When you have the courage to differ graciously, some people will not be able to restrain themselves. Their discomfort will prompt them to attack you in some way, to punish you from disturbing their zone of presumed agreement. The more reasonable and gentle you are in your statement, the more frustrated some people will feel and, ironically, the more unkindly they will respond.
Here are five simple guidelines for handling their responses:
1. You need at least two or three supporters, what I call “friends no matter what” … people you trust who will empathize with you and encourage you, so you don’t have to face opposition alone. We urge you to ask those people to be part of your support team before “going first” so they’ll be there for you if/when you need them. You may even ask them to read over what you write in advance, giving their feedback.
2. If you’re a person of prayer, I would encourage you to pray … pray for guidance in what to say and how to say it, pray for courage and grace to respond positively to negative feedback, etc. This can be a tremendous opportunity for spiritual growth!
3. Don’t feed the trolls! In other words, don’t get into a fight with an individual — online or in person. Arguments make people defensive and offensive. That doesn’t help us change hearts and minds. It simply tempts people to dig in their heels. You have two options when negative feedback happens. 1. Ignore it and move on (which includes using mute or block functions on social media when people are offensive or inappropriate), or 2. Respond graciously and wisely to it. Here’s some additional guidance for those who want to respond.
4. Treat every criticism as an opportunity to show grace and maturity. In other words, no matter how mean-spirited the response is, you can demonstrate self-restraint, open-heartedness, and kindness. You might say something like this: “Thanks to all who sent encouraging responses to my recent statement about the 2020 election. And to all who disagreed, please know that I respect your right to disagree. Whether we agree or disagree, let’s do all we can to treat one another just as we would want to be treated.”
5. Treat every criticism as an opportunity to clarify your message. But don’t do so individually. We recommend, whenever possible, that you process all the negative comments and combine them into one brief, non-defensive response of surprising graciousness.
- That could be as simple as, “Thank you for your responses to my recent statement about my plans for voting in 2020. Your responses have helped me understand where you are coming from. I still plan to vote for the Common Good rather than Donald Trump in 2020, and I hope you will vote according to your conscience, listening to a variety of points of view and keeping an open mind and heart, just as I have.”
- Or you could offer a simple, gracious, more direct response, like, “One person said I hate America, but the truth is, it’s my love for America that motivates me to vote for the Common Good,” or “Someone said that if I vote Democrat, I’m voting for abortion, but the truth is, I’ve come to see that Democratic policies reduce abortion more than Republican policies do.”
- If you need help, reach out to us, and we’ll do our best to help you respond, recalling the words from the New Testament: “Don’t be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12).
- After you’ve clarified your message, we encourage you to move on.
Along with some criticism, we expect that others will contact you and say, “I thought I was the only one! Thank you so much for speaking out!” You might be able to pull together some people for in-person or online discussion, and you might invite them to go next … becoming part of their support team to speak out.