I have been running myself ragged trying to be an activist. It doesn’t take much for me to be exhausted. I’m always sick, always tired, always about to keel over.
If you are not these things, do me a personal favor and step up.
I know that able-bodied people have issues, too, but I see a lot of people working well below their potential while I’m injuring myself trying to show up for protests. So I’m asking you to run down this list and see what you can do. I can’t keep hurting myself trying to show up because not enough other people could be bothered. Maybe you can help.
-Register to vote.
-Then VOTE in every election (not just presidential ones). Mark them on your calendar.
-Call, write, send postcards. Online petitions aren’t helpful. They’re easy, but they’re just mailing list farms.
-Educate your friends on issues like health care, voting rights, and economics on social media. Make sure your sources are reputable. Refuse to shut up.
-Show up for as many local protests as possible. If you feel like you never know when they’re happening, get connected to some local organizers and look for upcoming events on Facebook or Meetup.
-Join an organization. Being part of an org that has 50,000 voters saying one thing to the world is more effective than one you, no matter how loud you are. I have friends in orgs like DSA, and more localized groups like JFREJ, Water Protectors, and more, and let me tell you; they get work done.
Also, a note on the argument that voting only encourages them:
Much as I hate to go against George Carlin on this, here’s how it really works: Voting for the ‘lesser of two evils” moves the Overton Window. If moderate left people keep getting elected, moderate left becomes the new center, making room for far left in the field. If you doubt this, you should note that this has already happened in the opposite direction, which is why the American Left now correlates to the rest of the world’s Centerist.
Yes, voting for a candidate who’s close but not ideal only encourages them. But not voting at all only encourages the opposition. This is an issue created by the voting system we use here in the US, first-past-the-post. Click here to learn about the problems with it via a fun video with animals.