The “nuclear football” is the nickname for a briefcase of codes the President of the United States can use to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike at any time, for any reason, with about five minutes elapsing from the moment he gives the order until the moment the missiles launch.
I don’t care what you think of the current president, or the past one, or any that might come in the future. I care about the fact that no one should have that kind of unfettered power. No one should be able to start World War III on a whim.
And the good news is, we can take that power away.
Courtesy of Rachel Manija Brown, who started the “Pull the Football” social media campaign, here’s what you need to know.
Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They’re both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 – Senate, HR 669 – House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.
How to save the world:
1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it’s too late.
2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it’s worth contacting everyone who might listen.
3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn’t the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.
Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you’re not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.
How do I contact my representatives?
1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word “resist” to 50409 to begin.
2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.
I’ve contacted everyone. What now?
Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works – it’s why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.
What do I say?
Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.
Democrats to contact:
Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.
Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.
Republicans to contact:
The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.
Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.
Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.
Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Ben Sasse.
Hello, my name is [your name.] I’m calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 – Senate, HR 669 – House.)
I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we’re on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.
Don’t tell yourself “it could never happen.” Don’t rest in the assumption that nobody would really launch the nukes — it’s all just posturing, right? We need precautions in place to make sure we don’t wake up tomorrow morning to annihilation.
Or don’t wake up at all.