I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do beyond phoning and being dumped into the voice mail of Republicans at the state and local level. I’ve joined my local Indivisible Group. I’m getting educated as fast as I can about how our state legislation works. I’ve figured out that I can’t react to every daily news item driven by the Administration.
You’re the One
Friends, be the change you seek. Don’t be everything all at once, because you are going to burn out. Be the One, in the moment. Nobody hits a home run without practice. I’ve always said love is a practice. Medicine is a practice. Lots of stuff is practice, especially democracy. For too long we sat on our couches, letting other people participate. We watched our favorite media outlets. We voted in presidential elections, but not mid term elections. We bitched and moaned when things didn’t go our way. We made fun of others, until the unthinkable happened.
We like our friends posts on Facebook. We retweet. We de-friend trolls. But sometimes, the bad guys take over your country. This isn’t Iraq. We don’t need to plant IEDs. This isn’t Nazi Germany… yet. We don’t need to run away to a safe country.
Vote in the Mid Terms
We need to get more people to vote FOR their self interests. I don’t know how to do that yet. I want to help people better understand what would actually make a difference in their lives. This is hard work. It’s a marathon. One conversation won’t do it. In marketing, they say three impressions is the minimum to get somebody’s attention. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket. Express yourself. Don’t lose your cool. But don’t hesitate to let Uncle Frank, a barista, a passing acquaintance, your babysitter, your kid, that guy over there know what you think. Can you drop breadcrumbs in their path that they can follow? Or are you hoping that they figure things out by osmosis? This article illustrates how to do this. Firefighters in Iowa, many of whom voted Republican, realized that protecting collective bargaining for other unions is important to their self interest.
In the highly contentious battle to extinguish public worker rights, Iowa Republicans have attempted a divide-and-conquer approach to pit unions against each other. Their legislation splits public workers into two groups: one that’s “public safety workers,” and one that isn’t. The idea was to strip away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public employees, but keep most of it for police and firefighters, who are politically more difficult to go after.
It didn’t work.”
Pick Your Battles
Don’t feel you have to do everything all at once. What resonates for you? Where can you make a meaningful contribution? I’m upset with the ICE raids, but I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t know anyone who is an undocumented worker, and I don’t know what I would do that wouldn’t step on the feet of somebody who might already be engaged.
Help People Stop Voting Against Their Self Interests
How can I communicate with interest groups in a way that will resonate and break their gaze on the shiny object that the media and Administration dangles in front of them. Like those Iowa firefighters, there are others out there who might come to their senses.