I’m guilty of not writing my elected officials often enough. I don’t tell them what I think. I don’t give them money or buy their swag or volunteer or even talk to my neighbors often enough.
I’m guilty of hitting retweet and not telling anyone who can actually change it what I just told my friends and internet fans.
I’m guilty of being upset about all the bad things that are going on, like this past weekend, but not putting much effort into changing it.
I know. There’s a lot wrong in the world. It’s easy to write comments on facebook or a forum site or privately in a chat room where all your friends are. There’s so much wrong in the world. It’s easy to be depressed and cynical.
Let me see if I can list the top five things that cause me to stay up at night.
Climate Change. What kind of world am I leaving to my daughter? Will her children have the same chances? What about the children who aren’t in a wealthy part of the world?
Racism. What kind of country is it that can pretend that fifty years of barely doing anything different undoes centuries of wrong?
Nuclear weapons. How is it that they are still a thing? Why don’t we keep disarming? How do we invite all countries and people into the global community so nuclear weapons are unthinkable for all?
Actually I’m going to stop at three. I’m already feeling sad again.
Oh! Here comes another news story about what stupid nonsense a political campaign representative said. Maybe I’ll pay attention to that. Maybe I’ll obsess over the presidential campaign a bunch (oops, already did, yay a woman might become president!) Oh, that was an outrageous thing the mayor [city council person, state rep, whoever] said, hahaha, let’s laugh about that, shake my head and wryly dismiss it as politics.
But no, enough is enough.
Every time I hit share on social media on some new outrage or worry, I’m going to go write a person who is supposed to be there to help make that happen. I’m going to comment on legislation more often. I’m going to write quaint letters to the editor. I’m going to more often volunteer my money or time to campaigns. I’m going to go read something about the topic so I understand it better. I’m going to talk to my friends and family about what I believe and why I do.
Because I believe politics and “democracy”, as messy as it is, can work. Politics isn’t a dirty word. Politics is how we keep from killing each other. Politics is how we create that beautiful Star Trek future where all people can live healthy, fulfilling lives.
I want you to believe too. Don’t get mad or hopeless. Come join me. It starts by writing your elected officials. It won’t take you much longer than typing that angry sentence and hitting the share button. You can do both even!
But write your elected officials right now.
(Feel free to share this everywhere. But write one of your elected representatives about something you care about too!)