Since my last update, things in this country have gone to hell in a handbasket. We have a president who may or may not be a diagnosable narcissist, may or may not be suffering from early dementia, definitely is promoting fascism and is friendly to neo-Nazis, and is apparently trying to dismantle everything about this country that makes it good, including national parks, public education, and god, I don’t know, probably cheeseburgers.
People have been organizing their asses off, which is good. But some people I’ve talked to feel really intimidated by all the organizing and protesting that is happening because they have phone phobia, don’t like crowds, or are otherwise unable or uncomfortable with the primary forms of protest happening right now (i.e. phone calls and in-person protests).
So here’s a list I brainstormed of things that you can do even if you can’t call:
1. Vote in every election, especially the 2018 elections. Obama was hamstrung after the 2010 midterms when Republicans took control of Congress. We can do the same to Trump.
2. Contribute money. As a poli sci prof of mine once said, money is one of the most powerful forms of speech in this country, no kidding. Money is power. Why is the NRA so powerful? Because they have a shitload of members who contribute a shitload of money. Donate money to senators and representatives you want to win. If you’re living in a “safe” district, a) maybe donate anyway, because if we have learned nothing else it’s that safe isn’t always safe, or b) find a representative in a swing district and contribute to them instead. Contribute to organizations promoting causes you support — the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood.
3. Subscribe to a newspaper. Digital or physical, whichever. More than ever we need independent journalism in this country as a check on authority, and newspapers are leading the fight. My personal suggestion is to subscribe to one national paper (e.g. the NY Times, the Washington Post) and one local newspaper, assuming your locality still has one.
4. Write an email or a physical letter. I know, we’re all told that making phone calls is a more powerful statement, but if you don’t feel you can make a phone call, WRITE SOMETHING. I’ve seen politicians quote from constituent emails at rallies and events before. Particularly if you can make an eloquent point, but even if you can’t, write an email or a letter.
5. Correct untruths when you see them. You don’t have to get into a horrible 90-post comment war, but if you see someone post a falsehood, post a polite correction. Don’t let it just sit there unchallenged. If they then come back and want to fight about it, you don’t have to engage in that fight. You left the valid information right there where others can see it.
6. Call after-hours. I KNOW you said you didn’t want to call, but one way to do this is to call after-hours and leave a voicemail. Write yourself a little script: “Hi, my name is X, I’m a constituent in zip code XXXXX, and I am calling to support Senator X’s position on the ACA. I really appreciate his support and wanted him to know I have his back. Thank you, I don’t need a response.” It is just that easy.
7. Join a local activist group if there is one. Going to a meeting of like-minded people is a friendly and welcoming way to get started on this stuff. They will likely have plenty that you can do, even if you don’t want to march or call. Maybe you can help other people make signs, or you can provide bottled water or other logistical support.
Please feel to provide additional info in the comments. Keep fighting the good fight.