I wrote in my previous post that it may be possible to take back our country,
but that it would be necessary for everyone to help in the effort. Shephard suggested that I produce a list of whom to contact if you want to try and make a difference. So here’s the deal.
Everyone has to participate. You have to learn about the issues, and you have to vote. You can educate yourself on the internet (you’re already on the internet, right?) and also just by reading the paper and listening to news on the radio. Note that you will have to filter what you read and hear, but the only way to get good at that is to do it. It may take some time, but if we don’t get involved in what’s happening to the world we deserve what we get. For example, we have only ourselves to blame for the current administration in Washington. These guys won on the slimmest of electoral margins, while many of us stayed home. What if we had all voted?
In between elections you have to challenge politicians who do bad things. You can do this by taking part in demonstrations and by writing to your elected representatives and to newspapers. It’s important to make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you. How else can our elected officials know how we want them to act?
- Learn what’s happening to your world.
- Stand up and be counted in public ways. Don’t be afraid. Get some shit on your Permanent Record.
- Tell your representatives what you think (write to them).
- Tell everybody what you think (write letters to the editor).
- Vote. The Republican strategy has been to make you stay home on election day. They are not the majority, but they can win if we fail to oppose them at the polls.
Here are a few resources:
- Project Vote Smart. Type in your zip code at this site and get a list of all your elected representatives, including links to their web sites so you can get their addresses and write to them.
- The Huffington Post. Arianna Huffington used to be conservative, now she’s liberal. This is the direction everybody goes when they learn what’s happening in the real world. No matter – her site provides a forum for writers, artists, observers, politicians and pundits of all stripes, from centrist to leftist. You get to talk back to all of them.
- Donkey Rising. Also known as EDM, or The Emerging Democratic Majority. Here you’ll find (centrist) strategy and analysis of just how we will take back the nation. Again, you are able to contribute to the conversation.
- Open Secrets. Who is paying for your government? Follow the money at OpenSecrets.org.
- National Public Radio. Fair and in-depth reporting on news of the day. Read the news or listen online, or find your local affiliate station. There must be a reason the Republicans keep wanting to eliminate their funding.
- Move On. News, inspiration and involvement opportunities. Also, somewhere in there is a guide to writing effective, likely-to-be-published letters to the editor. (Someone let me know when you find it, OK?)
- TruthDig. This is where Robert Scheer went when the LA Times fired him for being too liberal. An interactive site featuring news, commentary and videos “…for people actively seeking to understand the world…”
Obviously this list is not exhaustive, nor is the Right represented at all (they do a fine job of that themselves). Not only that, but some of this stuff is hard reading. If we’d been paying attention for the past two decades this wouldn’t be necessary. But if you are concerned about the future, get started!
This is not a time to be timid. We can’t afford to lay low and keep out of sight. But we can improve things if we all take part. We haven’t come this far only to have Big Oil take over the government, strip us of our human and civil rights and send us off to Permanent War. If you’re afraid now, how will you feel when The Patriot Act is made permanent and the Supreme Court declares that anything is legal if the President says it is?
A groundswell is beginning. See the wave. Be the wave.