Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Do Activism

I have gotten very frustrated lately with people who say they want change, but are unwilling to get their hands dirty to get the change they want.  The country is going to hell in a handbasket, people.  The supreme court recently decided that corporations are entitled to the same freedom of speech that we are as individuals.  Therefore big corporations can keep buying elections with all of their special interest dollars.

What are you going to do about it?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident.  That all men are created equal."  But they aren't.  Don't Ask Don't Tell means that gay men cannot serve in the military with the same freedom to be open about who they are that straight men can.  And the Pentagon doesn't even want this law! Gay men cannot get married in many states.  Hell, in most states they aren't even able to get the same benefits as married people because they aren't even recognized as a "civil union."  And that's men.  Don't get me started about the inequalities in our country facing women.

What are you going to do about it?

Children don't have access to life-saving medications when they live in the United States of America. 

What are you going to do about it?

Activism isn't changing your facebook status for a week.  Activism isn't "liking" someone else's status.  Activism is hard work.  It takes committment and energy.  It gets old and depressing at times.  But it gets things done.  So here is what you have to do if you want to see the country change directions.

1.  Get educated.  Know the facts.  Facts could be found in emails, on websites, on television news programs, in newspapers, on blogs, or on social networking sites.  But be wary and skeptical.  Many false emails circulate the web trying to sway people to one point of view or the other.  Use or to find out if information is true before you pass it on.  Consider the source of the blog before you freak out about the information.  Did you watch it on MSNBC or Fox News?  Because it makes a difference (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, or which station goes in which direction, you need to get educatied on that).  Watch the Sunday morning political shows, if just to know what people are taking about.  Get educated.

2.  Know who your representatives are in the House of Representatives and the Senate and how to contact them. 

3.  Talk with other well-educated people about issues that are important to you.  Don't always talk to people with whom you agree.  There is a lot to be learned from the well-mannered debate.  We have come to an awful polarized place in this country where we think we cannot disagree appropriately on important issues without it being some sort of hellacious surrender.  We can actually disagree and learn from each other.

4.  Contact you elected officials and let them know where you  stand on imporant issues.  Write them, call them, email them.  Griping, complaining, and whining makes no change.  These people work for us, and as their bosses we need to let them know when they do a bad job.

5.  Join a political campaign for someone you support, and/or give them financial backing if you are able.

6.  Refer to #1 and educated yourself.  No one will listen if you sound like you are ranting and raving when you don't know what you are talking about. 

Things can change, I think, if enough smart, talented, people really start giving a damn and holding our government to a higher standard.  You can help.  It starts now.  Reverse the handbasket.

1 comment:

  1. Someone got the blogging bug again. Might we, "Mr. SkyGirl" make a comeback in some sort of way?

    Politifact, snopes and factcheck are bookmarked on my computer. If I had a dime for every conservative slander email my brother-in-law's kin sent out, I'd be able make Missouri State a free college for all.

    Glad to see you're back.