By Isabel Jones
Updated Oct 15, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
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Chance Yeh/Getty Images

Like much of the country, Meryl Streep's daughters Mamie and Grace Gummer are finding that their conversations always return to the same topic: politics.

“I’m having a hard time talking about much else,” Mamie told InStyle. “It feels kind of odd to do an interview about hair tips … It just seems like everything has just been thrown into this perspective.”

“Everything feels political," Grace echoed.

With the political landscape in mind, the Gummers decided to join forces with Swing Left, a progressive group focused on taking back the House of Representatives for the democratic party in 2018, doing so in part by targeting voter turnout in swing districts. The oft overlooked midterm elections fall on Nov. 6 this year, and Grace and Mamie are among a spate of liberal-leaning celebrities and politicians encouraging people to get involved.

“It is probably the first time in what feels like a long time that anybody is paying attention to the midterm elections and is realizing the importance of it,” Grace told InStyle.

“The groundswell that’s needed, it can’t all be the presidential election,” Mamie explained. “I think that’s traditionally been when people pay attention, show up. But as we saw in 2010, to devastating effect, [the midterm elections make] a tremendous difference. And if we want to get anything done it all starts there — if democracy is going to function anymore, fingers crossed that it will.”

Swing Left

This election year, the Gummer sisters are focused on climate change, human rights, and reproductive rights. And now, more than ever, they believe it’s their duty as public figures to get people talking about the issues.

“I feel a sense of urgency and importance of having a platform of being a recognizable person or a person in the spotlight that can do something and can make a difference,” Grace says. “And I definitely understand the importance of that more and more now. To do something, even as an artist, it should tell a story or send a message of political urgency, I just feel like that is much more potent right now. I felt that immediately after the election, thinking what kind of great art would come out of this. And also not everything has to be an important message to the world, but that’s definitely something that’s been a priority for me professionally."

Though Grace and Mamie's mother’s politics fall more-or-less in line with their own, they haven’t experienced the same like-mindedness with every member of their extended family.

“I think we all have to effectively demonstrate patience,” Grace said of discussing politics with friends and family members who have opposing views.

“It’s hard to understand, but to not lose your cool and get angry I think is also the most important thing, and to be patient,” Mamie agreed. “I think the instinct is to get so incensed about everything and enraged, but I actually think it doesn’t help. You could use that anger in a more productive way.”

That productive channeling of anger is at the forefront of Swing Left, which encourages the liberal-minded to canvas, donate, and do everything in your power (no matter how small) to get people to the polls.

“Mamie and I got all of our friends together and we did a sale of old clothes that didn't fit us anymore and we donated what we made to Everytown for Gun Safety,” Grace shared. “That was just a small way, on a weekend, what we thought we could do.”