It is really hard staying active for longer than two years. Especially after working overtime and way out of (my) one’s comfort zone prior to an election. Last year from January to the end of December I gave myself a rule that I would do one political action every day and if I didn’t make a phone call or write a letter or campaign or register people to vote or protest, I would donate $25 to a political cause. This past semester I was overloaded with service and behind on research and teaching a prep I hadn’t taught in a decade and I gave myself a break. I was tired and everything was so overwhelming. I didn’t stop completely– I probably averaged one action a week, give or take. But it’s been hard.
I’m not the only one, I know. My regular twitter feeds have toned down the encouragement to protest (wandsci a notable exception!). Our local indivisible group has dissolved. My activism page is out of date.
My favorite actions newsletter stopped sometime last winter. I haven’t found one that I like as much. I could just go to 5calls everyday but it’s challenging to remember to do that and to get up the energy to do it.
There’s just fewer nudges in my life and less stuff making it easy to just do something. It’s hard to get up the willpower to get over the bigger hurdles.
But it is important that we not give up. This is a pivotal time in history. We are in a constitutional crisis with the executive branch denying the congressional branch its powers and the senate refusing to step up to try to enforce them. Record numbers of truly evil people who do not believe in the personhood of women or minorities are getting confirmed as judges, meaning that we will not be able to trust our judicial system to save us. Voting rights are being stripped. Children are dying. States are positioning themselves to overturn Roe vs. Wade with some of the most restrictive anti-woman legislation in half a century. We Cannot Give Up. We Must Fight.
We need to put pressure on our elected officials at all levels. Locally. At the state level. At the federal level. We cannot let things stand.
Whenever we get complacent, they take more of our rights away. They try more things. When we fight back, they ease off.
So, summer is starting. It’s time to devote some time to activism again. This summer, starting today, I am going to try to go back to doing something every weekday, whether it be a call to my state legislators or my members of congress or writing postcards to voters or donating to Raices Texas where they’re working diligently to keep families from separation or swingleft or indivisible to take the senate and the presidency in the next election or organizations that help keep people being allowed to vote like fair fight in Georgia where a stolen election emboldened the Republican party to criminalize a woman’s right to her own body. I don’t think a person needs to do something every day, but I find it easier to do a little bit every day rather than doing a bunch all at once. My DH would do his actions early in the week to get them over with, back when we were getting a weekly newsletter.
I need help. I need to feel like I’m not alone.
What can we do? What do you do? What works for you? How can we move forward and fight? Is anyone else trying to be politically active this summer?