The goal of many in power is to make sure that you feel powerless. When one feels powerless or inconsequential, one, many times, stays home or take fallacies at face value. That is why many vote against their interest or don't vote at all. Every single American can make a choice to change our political condition, and this is how we engage.
We are all different and have different abilities. Whether you are shy, like to be with people or not, are computer savvy or not, you can be a part of out political solution.
I have conversations with hundreds of individuals a week over social media, email, and phone weekly. I reach thousands through my Politics Done Right radio show on Pacifica's KPFT 90.1 FM Houston network and the corresponding Facebook Live Feed.
I hear two distinct messages. The first comes from those that are politically active who are fighting the good fight and at the same time upset at those who vote against their interests or don't vote at all. The second comes from those who feel depressed or unworthy who state they do not believe they could make a difference.
It is important that those fighting the good fight get over their disgust for the non-voter or those voting against their interests. They must encourage them through education framed in their realities in a non-threatening and empathetic manner.
Those feeling unworthy or those who believe nothing they do matter must realize that that is the intent of the American plutocracy. The American power structure needs you to believe that there is a class of people who know what's best for us all. They started the reprogramming of the American citizens with the release of the Powell Memo as American's began to liberalize, build confidence to supersede class, and demand what was rightfully theirs. A few years ago I wrote the article "Middle Class Must Assert Its Worth To Assure Their Share Of America’s Wealth" that still holds true today. I ended the piece with the following.
America’s indoctrination by a small class that provides no product or real service to the vast majority of our citizens must end. Americans must first visualize and externalize their real worth to society. They must let loose those shackles of indoctrination. The middle class must not accept the current wage or wealth paradigm. The middle class must assert its worth and force politicians to recover the nation’s treasure and invest it in America and Americans, those that have done the work and innovation to make this country great.
The impetus of that article was to point out to everyday Americans that they needed to remove the chains of indoctrination from their psyches. The hope was that said narrative would plant that seed in our minds that would grow into the awareness that indeed we all matter, we are all worthy and that the wealthy classes are doing us no favors. After all, their wealth is nothing more than the accumulation of assets derived from our work and intellect. In a particular parlance, it would be called the stealing of our excess labor and the hijacking of our intellect.
The article was not an explicit call to action. Maybe it was an implicit hope that some would get so empowered that they would act. The reality is that only a small segment of the population are 'born activist' who are always willing to challenge the established powers.
This piece is a call to action for all. There are hundreds of millions of us. There are only a few millions of those who take an underserved share of Amerca's treasure. What this means is everybody can participate without having to take on a load they cannot bear.
So here are permanent actions every American can take at any time within the 365 days a year (366 for leap years).
Ways to engage on your own
- Call, write, and email, or fax your Congressperson, two Senators, your State Senator, and your State Congressperson frequently and let them know what you want them to do or not do. If you want to send a text/written message or a video message to the first three, click here.
- Find your local newspaper online and comment about healthcare or any other subject you are passionate in the appropriate sections where they allow comments. Your feedback will embolden others to do the same as your passion awaken others. Make sure to encourage others to do so as well.
- Send short letters-to-the-editor to your local newspaper and encourage others to do so. Make sure to be clear, fact-based, and nonconfrontational.
Engage with other organizations
There are dozens of organizations that do good grassroots progressive work. Pick one are a few to work with to help your hone your political skills if you want to engage a little deeper. But for all you do, support these organizations financially if you have the ability to do so. Following are organizations that I work with which I think are doing a good job. There are others as well.
- Indivisible is a new movement that inspired by the congressional staffs who understand what moves politicians into action. It is a decentralized movement with thousands of local groups that work on their local politicians from district, to county, to state, to national.
- Our Revolution is a spinoff from the Bernie Sanders movement intent on reclaiming democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.” They support a new generation of progressive leaders. They are empowering millions to fight for progressive change. They work very hard to elevate the political consciousness. Our Revolution goal is to transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.
- MoveOn is a grassroots organization that combines rapid-response political campaigning with deep strategic analysis, rigorous data science and testing, and a culture listening and participation that allows it to consistently and quickly identify opportunities for progressive change. They mobilize millions of members to seize them. MoveOn members step up as leaders by using the MoveOn Petitions DIY organizing platform to create their 'own' petitions and campaigns to drive social change.
- Brand New Congress is a grassroots organization that intends to be a big tent for anyone who is tired of partisan politics and wants to just accomplish the big tasks necessary to actually change this country for the better. They will run 400+ non-politician candidates for Congress in 2018 in one 'unified' campaign behind one plan to rebuild the economy, repair our communities and radically reform our institutions.
- Coffee Party USA is a grassroots trans-partisan organization that works tirelessly on keeping money out of politics. They have a very strong social media presence intent on increasing political awareness.
Whether you engage on your own or with other organizations, the most important thing is engaging and encouraging others to do the same.