Category Archives: Fasting to Defeat Trump

Day 28 (2)

My energy is returning, after 26 days without it, because I’m consuming fruit juices and liquid veggie soups for the second day. It’s very noticeable, and very welcome. Yesterday I worked pretty much straight through from 8 am to 8 pm, and I felt OK afterwards and had a good night’s sleep. And when I stepped on the scale this morning I had gained back about four of the 30 pounds I lost while on water only.

I find myself longing for solid food more than when I was on water. Without any calories or nutrition, I was of necessity focused on being aware of how I was feeling, controlling my body so that I didn’t fall or slip, and constantly reminding myself why I was putting myself through this ordeal (to defeat Trump). Now that I’m getting some nourishment, and knowing that election night, four and a half days from now, I’ll begin actually eating solid food (steamed vegetables), my orientation toward food is changing.

With my returned energy from the liquids, I really enjoyed getting on the phone last evening for an hour and a half making get out the vote calls to Minnesota through Our Revolution. It would have been two hours but I needed to stop early to work with a Democracy Now technician to record a 30-second spot for their show this morning about why I’m doing this fast. It was good to hear that on the air an hour ago. That’s about the 25th media outlet that I know of that has carried info about this action.

Making the calls, I found that almost everyone I spoke to had already voted, so the calls ended up being, in most cases, pitches for people to keep talking up the need to vote to friends, co-workers and family, which everyone was receptive to, most already doing. I enjoy making these calls, as I did during the primaries for Bernie when it was much harder. There’s something about having direct contact with regular folks in all their variety and difference, but also their commonalities, that feels good. It’s why I like door to door canvassing, too.

One of the many striking things I saw on the news yesterday was Republican Senator Rand Paul being brought up to the stage by Trump at a rally in Arizona. Maskless, the two of them clasped hands as Paul arrived, at which point his word of greeting was “immunity,” as in “herd immunity”, as in “let millions die if necessary.” It was grotesque, and the latest reminder of how truly evil Donald Trump is, how he turns all around him into their worst. Thank God that we have a chance to bring him and all he represents down four days from now.

Day 27 (1)

This is day 27 of what’s going to be 32 days without solid food, but it’s day one of six days of a liquids, not water-only, fast. Yesterday I decided, for several reasons, to go from water-only to fruit and veggie juices and all-liquid soups. Last evening I had three bowls of a really good tasting, organic vegetable soup I made myself a couple of days ago.

I was therefore surprised when I stepped on a scale this morning and saw that I had lost another pound since yesterday, now up to a 30 pound weight  loss since the beginning of the fast. In addition, I have not felt stronger with some nourishment in me, not yet, though I know that will come.

Why did I do this? One reason is the number of friends who have been supportive of me but have also told me they have been concerned about impacts on my health, especially because of my 71 years. Another is that I have noticed that, as distinct from the middle period of the fast, there’s not been much recent press interest despite my daily outreach efforts.

I’ve done OK on that front; there are at least 20 progressive and other media outlets that have interviewed me or carried stories about this action, but only a couple in the last week. So when I was watching a news story about the massive voter turnout happening Tuesday evening, the idea came to me that maybe it was time for me to switch to nourishing liquids so that I would have the energy to do what I was doing in September before the fast—phone outreach to battleground states to encourage turnout. As I thought about that idea, it just made more and more sense. Thus this change. And this evening I’ll begin that phone calling work through the group Our Revolution.

It’s important that we each do what we can in these last six days to maximize voter turnout! There are signs everywhere that this could be a big defeat for Trump and his Republican enablers; let’s not let up!

Day 26

In national elections past, the key to Democrats defeating Republicans has been voter turnout. If there is a big one, Democrats are likely to win, overall, whether it be for President and Congressional seats or, in off year elections, just for Congress.

Is there any reason to think it will be any different this year? It doesn’t seem likely to me.

All indications are that Trump’s hard-core base of about a third of the population is very enthusiastic about returning Super-Spreader Don to the White House, and the Trump campaign has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, perhaps more. Those are two things in Trump’s favor as far as turnout.

But Trump has been doing all he can to depress voting by mail, something which is much more widespread this year because of the pandemic, So when it is reported that just about 70 million people, as of this morning, have early voted nationally, either by mail or in person, which is more than half of the 139 million people voting in 2016, and there’s still six days until election day, it’s reasonable to expect that many of these early voters are Democrats. And they are, with the biggest news being what’s happening in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. There, more than three times as many of the early voters are Democrats as compared to Republicans.

According to the Washington Post, in 16 of the 19 states that provide data, Democrats are ahead.

Then there’s the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School poll which found that 63% of voters 18 to 29 intend to vote. If true, that would be 16 percentage points higher than the youth vote in 2016. And that poll found that Biden was favored among that constituency by a 63 to 25 percent margin.

And finally, there’s Black voter turnout, which is big, as this CNN story reports: “By Tuesday, more than 601,000 Black Americans had voted early in Georgia compared with about 286,240 two weeks before the 2016 election. In Maryland, about 192,775 had voted compared with 18,430. And California had over 303,145 — up from more than 106,360 two weeks before the election four years ago. That’s according to Catalist, a data company that provides analytics to Democrats, academics and progressive advocacy organizations.”

These are absolutely huge developments. The best defense against attempted voter suppression and Trump election-stealing before, during and after November 3 is exactly what is happening, a massive turnout of people of color, women, young people, progressives, workers and the majority of the population who reject what Trump and the Trumpublicans are all about.

But we can’t let up. The larger the vote for Biden, the stronger the mandate will be post-election for the kinds of progressive action so desperately needed right now. And a big turnout means more down-ballot victories for progressives and liberals, from the Senate down to very local races.

If you’re not already involved in voter turnout work in the battleground states, there’s still time to take part in these last six days. Some of the national groups I know which are doing good work are the Biden campaign, Indivisible, Our Revolution and Peoples Action.

After doing this work in September, I had to stop once I began my month-long, water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3, not having the energy for phone-calling or writing letters/post cards. But I’ve decided that the best contribution I can make in these last six days is to get personally involved in the phone calling, so later today I will shift from water-only to a liquid fast, drinking fruit and vegetable liquids. I’ll begin getting the nourishment I need for the last six days ‘til election day, the last six days of my fast, to keep building the turnout momentum.

The people are rising, and there ain’t no power like the power of the people in motion and standing up. Let’s defeat Trump bad!

Ted Glick is currently on a month-long Fast to Defeat Trump until November 3. He is the author of the recently-published “Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War.” More information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick

Day 25

Twenty-five days consuming only water; I haven’t done this since 2007. Back then the focus was solely on the climate crisis. A stimulus for my doing it was the unexpected takeover by the Democrats of the House of Representatives in the November, 2006 elections. Soon afterwards Nancy Pelosi said she wanted legislation on global warming passed by July 4th, but when it hadn’t happened by then I thought it was time for my first long fast since 1992.

This climate emergency fast ended up going 107 days. The last 82 were on fruit and vegetable juices and, for the last 47 days, liquid soups. I discovered that you can persist a long time on liquids if you make sure to get the proteins and vitamins and minerals you need.

One of the interesting things that happened on this fast is that Nancy Pelosi’s office called me several times during it to see how I was doing. I appreciated that. And as the fast evolved it became a fast supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation that Pelosi was leading an effort to pass. It was called the Energy Independence and Security Act, and it was finally passed and signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, at which point I began to eat.

I’ve now lost 29 pounds, If I don’t begin eating until a week from now, on election day, the total weight loss will be between 30-35 pounds, which is what I expected when I began 25 days ago. Otherwise I’m hanging in there. My pulse is steady and my blood pressure, though with some variation, is pretty steady too. I am definitely resting and working less than I ordinarily do, listening to what my body is telling me.

Day 24

It feels good to be beginning the last week of this hunger strike, and also the last week before the huuuuuge election. It is encouraging to see the massive early voting turnout in many parts of the country. It’s an historic fact that the larger the voter turnout, the better progressive and liberal candidates for office do, the worse Republicans do.

It’s looking like the Trumpites don’t have any last minute disruptions to undercut the Democratic campaign—no late October letter from FBI Director James Comey about reopening a probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server, and no public dumping of John Podesta’s emails with Russian government assistance. They tried last week to get the mass media to pick up the story Rudolph Giuliani has been pushing about Biden supposedly working with son Hunter to get millions of dollars for personal gain from corporate actors in Ukraine and China, but other than the right-wing media echo chamber, no one saw it is as credible.

We’ll see if some new Hail Mary allegation is thrown out there this week, but even if it is, the fact that about 60 million people have already voted, and Trump is so widely hated or distrusted for so many reasons, including his abject failure to lead on the pandemic, should mean that it won’t have much impact.

On a personal level, I’m hoping to get a second blood test today to see how things are looking health-wise. Assuming that happens, I’ll then see what my doctor says about the results and decide on that basis at the end of the week if I stay on water-only through election day or take some vegetable and fruit liquids for the final several days. In any case, I am definitely looking forward to the end of this fast, and the end of Trump in the White House.

Day 23

I’m feeling better today than I did at this time yesterday. One reason could be because I consciously took it easy yesterday, less time at the computer, more time reading and, yes, time cooking for Jane in the kitchen, something I’m doing on an almost daily basis. I really enjoy it. My mind is very fixed on hunger striking and getting Trump out, and that overrides any desire to eat my delicious, according to Jane, home-cooked dishes.

Another reason I’m feeling better could be that I’m now ingesting more salt. I spoke with a nurse friend yesterday and told him that a blood test report I received a couple days ago said that I was dehydrated, which was a big surprise since I’ve been both taking salt and drinking a lot of water, really forcing it down (tasteless water when you’re not eating food really isn’t enjoyable). My friend said I should be taking more like two teaspoons rather than just the one I’ve been taking, and so that’s now what I’m doing. I hope that helps.

The blood test report indicated a few other abnormalities, but nothing serious. I’m planning to take another test as soon as I can, hopefully tomorrow, and see what the results are and then decide, after talking it over with my doctor, if I need to modify the fast in the last 4-5 days, perhaps add additional liquids besides water.

The latest Presidential campaign news is about three of Pence’s top aides having the virus. Poetic justice. This, in addition to the skyrocketing number of new cases all over the country, will keep this issue at the top of the news up through the election, which is bad news for pandemic-denier (and climate change denier) President Chaos. This election really could be a huge one, a very big swing of the pendulum, if everyone who gets it on how disastrous a second Trump term would be does all they can to get everyone they can out to the polls between now and November 3.

Day 22

When I began my water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3, I had some idea about how I was going to feel as it progressed. I have done long water-only fasts before, though the last time, on the issue of the climate crisis, was 13 years ago when I was 58 years old. On this one I’m 71. And though I’m a regular long-distance bicyclist and exercise guy, that’s getting up there in years, I know.

This one has been harder than the one in 2007. I remember during that one being pretty active as late as the 22nd or 23rd days. Not this time. I have been weak since day two, the primary symptom I’ve had all throughout. This morning I woke up after a good night’s sleep and found it difficult to get going, with the most weakness since I stopped eating.

But the most important thing about my hunger strike is not how I’m feeling but whether or not there is evidence that it is having its desired result. What is that? It’s the motivation of other people who might not otherwise to vote for the removal of Trump by voting for Biden, and to get involved in the organized efforts by a number of groups to turn out the majority of the American population that opposes Trump.

I have anecdotal evidence that some individuals are voting or doing phone calling or other voter turnout work that they might not be otherwise. But a better metric is the extent of media coverage, and I feel good on that front. I can count about a dozen progressive media sources that have run stories about or interviewed me.

A main angle of a number of those stories is the fact that in 2002 I was a Green Party candidate for the US Senate and that I was a local leader in northern NJ of a Green Party group from 2000 to 2018. Now I’m urging people to vote for Biden, after having been a Bernie Sanders supporter prior to Biden’s primary victory.

Why am I not just voting for Biden and urging others to do the same but fasting for a planned 32 days to underline why people should do so?

Like many other commentators, I consider this election to be one of it not the most consequential elections in decades. There’s the issue of democracy and if we’ll still have it if Trump is elected. There’s the issue of Trump’s open egging on and support of violent, white supremacist groups. There’s his total walking away from giving leadership in the fight against COVID-19. There’s his misogyny and ant-lgbt history. There’s his explicit policies of shoveling even more money and power to his fellow oligarchs and the rich. But the ultimate most important one for me is his overt denial of the climate emergency we are in and his repeated moves to prop up a faltering fossil fuel industry.

For 17 years the climate issue has been the main issue for me. My last paying job for 10 years before retiring in 2015 was as the National Campaign Coordinator of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. I’ve continued to work close to full-time on this issue since retirement as an unpaid volunteer. I’ve been arrested about 10 times over that 17 year period for action of nonviolent civil disobedience on the climate issue.

Unlike every other issue, there is a definite time urgency to this one. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a consortium of thousands of scientists, said in a report two years ago that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” will take place if the world does not reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030. We are completely and totally behind the 8-ball on this one.

The way I see it, when the future of life on earth is very literally at stake with this election, it’s more than appropriate for actions that may seem extreme if those actions can have an impact. With every fiber of my being, I pray, and believe, that this action is doing that.

Day 21

Overall I felt relieved, good, hopeful after the big debate last evening. It doesn’t mean that I thought everything Biden said was positive, I didn’t, but most of the time he said the right things, sometimes very effectively and strongly, and I thought Trump performed poorly. A CNN instant poll reported that Biden won 53% to 39%, which seems believable to me given Biden’s 8-9% lead in national polls and how well he did.

My main problems with what Biden said were his continued opposition to banning fracking, his defense of private, profit-making health care, and his boasting about saying to China that US planes would continue to fly over the South China Sea. On that last one, think about how people in this country would respond to China or Russia or any country regularly flying planes in the Gulf of Mexico.

With the exception of the fracking issue, I thought Biden was very strong on the climate issue, as well as racial justice. This is definitely a different Joe Biden than we’ve seen in the past. It could be that it’s a Joe Biden rising to the challenges and reflecting the mass progressive movements of today.

However, as Jake Tapper said last night, the Republicans are going to be throwing dirt, lying, trying to confuse, trying to demoralize and intimidate voters probably more than they’ve ever done over the next 12 days. We continue to need many of us actively involved in the organized efforts to turn out that 53% of the population that supports Biden. Peoples Action, Our Revolution, Indivisible, the Biden/Harris campaign: these are some of the national groups doing good work along those lines. We can’t let up!

I woke up this morning feeling very weak physically, the weakest I’ve felt over the last 21 days. It could be the emotional anxiety about and energy put into listening to the debate and the analyses afterwards. I could, and expect I will, feel stronger as the day progresses; I hope so. But I can still sit at my computer and read and type.

Day Twenty

I’ve been weaker this morning. It could be because I did an hour and a half zoom interview yesterday that definitely drained me of energy. Although I took it easy afterwards and got a good night’s sleep, I may be feeling the effects. Or maybe it’s just because this is the 20th day without calories, protein or any kind of physical nourishment.

My weight loss has definitely slowed down. The last few days it has averaged about ½ of a pound. If it stays at that rate, I’ll have lost about 32 pounds at the end 12 days from now.

I’m really noticing my thinness when I take a shower and look in the mirror afterwards. It’s like every part of my body—my face, arms, stomach and legs—has really changed. I feel “boney” when I’m passing the soap over my body. I can appreciate the phrase, “he’s all skin and bones,” little muscle. That’s the way I look right now.

Jane and I took a short walk yesterday over to a nearby pond, and we found a beautiful spot to sit and observe big, white, wildflower bushes right in front of us full of dozens of wild bees doing their thing, with the pond behind them and colorful trees on the other side of the pond. It was a wonderful 15 or so minutes taking it all in.

I also had a special experience with a titmouse bird in our backyard. As I was passing the bird feeder taking food scraps to the composter, the titmouse landed on the birdfeeder, chirped a couple of times as if to say hello, grabbed a sunflower seed and then flew off. I was no more than 10 feet away, observing this. Very nice.

I’m looking forward to the big debate tonight. Do your job Kristen Welker!

Day Nineteen

My interview with Josh Fox on the Young Turks network came out yesterday, and they did a good job. A google search showed that there have also been stories about it on Yahoo News, Black Star News and Z Communications. In addition to the news outlets I listed in yesterday fasting report, I’m definitely encouraged that the word is getting out and that this action is helping to swell the turnout to defeat Trump on November 3.

For the first time since I stopped eating, I didn’t lose any weight between yesterday morning and this morning. I was surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that result, but I was also pleased. It’s a sign that my body is adjusting to this new reality and trying to conserve as much muscle as it can. Of course, I’m also helping with that by consciously limiting how much energy I expend each day.

Yesterday, for example, I stayed home except for a short half mile or so walk in my neighborhood. After the walk, I was very tired and needed to sit down and rest for a while, after which I felt better.

I’m looking forward to the big debate tomorrow evening. It’s looking like Trump will come into it all charged up from his super-spreader, we-love-you-Don rallies and will attempt to dominate the debate by bullying the moderator Kristen Welker and Joe Biden. I would hope and expect that both of them will be prepared, and he’ll come across as he did in the first debate, though not so off-the-charts ridiculous. We’ll see.