If there’s any silver lining to the current presidency, it’s the much-needed reminder that we cannot become complacent. For me, this election highlighted a deep cognitive dissonance that has become all too common. We feel entitled to our rights, but so many of us aren’t working to defend them. Myself included.
Even with the divisive language during the election, voter turnout didn’t peak this year. I didn’t work on a campaign, like I usually do. I probably didn’t read or watch the news as much as I should have. And I probably wasn’t as vocal as I should have been.
We felt safe. And we’ve been lucky. In my lifetime, I haven’t really felt like I needed to march for gender equality, for my body, or for my voice. I haven’t felt like I needed to explain to people why I want my country to have open arms to refugees or those different from myself. I haven’t felt the need to talk about politics on social media or really, to anyone who would listen. And I haven’t been afraid for the first amendment. I haven’t felt any of this until now.
But even though the presidency has been decided, it’s not too late to turn anger into action. And I’m not necessarily talking big action like peacefully protesting – although I would be down. I think we can practice some civil disobedience in our everyday lives.
GET INFORMED on issues that matter to you. I’m a social voter. Other people vote based on fiscal policies. Figure out what matters to you and do your damn homework.
TALK politics. Why is this still taboo? You don’t have to agree with your family + friends + or Facebook friends on everything, but you should be able to find some common ground. As adults, I’d hope we’d be able to have informed conversations and be open to different perspectives without coming to blows.
(But if you do talk politics with someone and find out they’re actually high or low key racist. It’s cool to not talk to them again.)
KNOW who your representatives are and what they stand for. And I don’t just mean your senators. I mean your House Reps and local legislators. You don’t even have to put forth a whole lot of effort to find out either.
CONTACT your representatives. Email them. Send them snail mail. Or better yet, call them. We can’t expect our representatives to read our minds.
SIGN petitions. Especially the ones that require a response from the White House.
DONATE your time or money for causes that matter to you. This election season and start of the new administration have been costly to my wallet. But there’s no better feeling than donating to something I know will make a difference. Hey, ACLU. Hey, DAPL Protestors.
SKIP the businesses that support causes you don’t. Be a smart consumer. Money talks.
Do you have any other tips/tricks for staying active and infromed? I’d love to hear what works for you.