Do you wonder why “things” don’t change? I am not trying to be critical but, maybe it‘s you. When was the last time you spoke with your state representative or wrote a letter to your US representative? Does anyone of your county commissioners know your name? Please take this opportunity to self-critique your current efforts.
More beneficial than going to a Tea Party or 9/12 meeting is going to your City Commission or City Council meeting. A while back, I was complacent reading articles, watching TV, and posting to social media which did not accomplish anything. Then it clicked. My efforts were too passive and not directed enough toward the actual elected officials. Not until physically going to my city commission meetings, emailing my positions to elected officials and making phone calls, did I start seeing results. Slowly at first but the results did come. As liberals have started saying “Government goes to those who show up”. You need to show up. We are all busy. Make the time anyway and adjust your priorities for a short period of time.
I enjoy college football so here is a timely analogy. Practice can only do so much. At some point you have to get on the field, play the game and see what you are made of. Are you going to win every game? No, but you will get better. Are you expected to win the championship the first season? No, but you will get closer. You will get nicked up. You will get a bruise or two. Those are the signs of effort. Wear it like a bright yellow Don’t Tread On Me t-shirt. This is a contact sport. Freedom is not free, its work, and takes work to keep it. Maybe we should call it “Workdom”. The point is, you have to step on the field.
The first time I ran for a City Commission seat, I lost. I did not put a lot of effort into the campaign, but I did great in the debate. This built my confidence. Then folks began asking me my opinion and really liked what I had to say. After the loss I was at every meeting and talking to the Commissioners. I won that seat the next time around. What was the biggest lesson I learned? There are a lot of people who think the way we do.
We so often hear the American people need to wake up. Trust me they are awake. Now they just need to actively do something. Does your group have an activity log of phone calls made, face to face meetings, emails, cards, and/or letters written? Activity logs are a great place to keep track, and focus efforts. If the group doesn’t have one, make one, and more importantly use it. Accountability can make a world of difference. Do the members of your group have door knocking campaigns or distribute materials? If not, lead the charge. You may have to get out of your comfort zone. I think you will be surprised at the positive reception. Never underestimate the power one person can have. Start little and ask others to do the same. The good news is, statistically, change requires 500 active citizens per congressional district.
Here is more good news. You do not need to be perfect to get started. Knowing every statistic, history lesson or even every issue inside and out is not required. Heck it may not even be useful. Find something you are passionate about and start there. Crawl before you walk. Baby steps. Set low expectations and build on those successes. Most people connect with passion, not details. You can do it. You must.