I didn’t want to start writing political posts. I didn’t want to be a political activist. For most of my adult life, speaking up when something mattered to me as well as voting in each election was enough. Most of the rest to me was just noise. But now in the political and polarized society that is now the United States. I can’t just be someone who just watches what happens anymore. Too many people are using this election as the excuse to demean and downright bully their fellow man. I can’t stand idly by and watch that happen.
My own introverted self would much rather go back to talking about my own self-improvement and my own spiritual exercises. I would also much rather continue to stretch myself by providing intuitive messages to help others in their own quests for knowledge and improvement. But that isn’t the world we live in anymore. And that is something that I become painfully aware of the minute I get on social media and see the news. We are a nation that is more polarized, angry and full of fear. And we have to do something about it.
It took me more time than I expected, but I have been figuring out things that I can do to help matters. I already know my activism will be much different than someone else, and that’s alright. We all need to be able to help in our own way. So what my activism is going to look like is below. I offer it as ideas for others to shape their own.
I don’t care who you voted for anymore. People might not like to hear this, and I understand. But the truth of the matter is that almost half of the people in this country voted for someone whom almost the other half believes to be immoral in some form or fashion. Another group voted for someone else whom others feel is immoral. And another significant portion of this country didn’t vote. Now we can choose to continue the polarization of the United States by just trying to side with 1/3 to 1/2 of the nation that believes exactly like we do, or we can try to give the benefit of the doubt that some people voted the way they did because they felt like they had no other choice. Some of the long conversations that I’ve had since the election include those who call themselves republicans, and yet are just as upset as I am at the violence that they see happening. In those conversations we have acknowledged that violence has happened on both sides of the political spectrum, and that violence against anyone isn’t getting us anywhere.
If someone clearly disrespects someone else based on their creed, race, gender, belief or ethnicity, that is a different story entirely. In that case we know why they voted the way they did and they don’t have my support. And I will do my best to keep my eyes open to prejudice and do what I can to combat it. But until someone’s actions tell me otherwise, I’m willing to do what I can to provide support to anyone who needs it.
I will respectfully listen to what you have to say, but you better back it up with credible news sources. In turn, others need to respectfully listen to me and should I bring up an incident, I better be able to back it up as well. Media spin is crazy, and it’s keeping us polarized. Everything is getting spun depending on who it is that is writing the story. Even this weekend, there is already lots of spin regarding Vice President Elect Mike Pence being ‘bullied’ and ‘called out’ when he went to see the musical Hamilton. He wasn’t ‘bullied’, as some still believe. There is a video of the actual situation that is floating out there that I’ve watched, and the most accurate story that I have seen that matches the video is here. If you won’t be respectful of me, then I have no choice to put you in the group that I spoke about above, and you aren’t worth my time or energy to address. And in that case, you have probably made up your mind a long time ago, and refuse to think anyone else could be right.
It’s time to be active on what the real issues are. We are going to see lots of memes, hear lots of talking points and discussion on what is said by the elected leaders in the next four years. But none of that matters until it gets into the actions of the government when they take over January 20. Even the proposed attorney general needs to have confirmation by the United States Senate, and he didn’t pass a confirmation previously because of his racial comments. So instead of posting memes and replying to comments, perhaps it’s time to start calling our current and new senate leaders and start voicing our opposition now. And if that doesn’t work, volunteering or giving money to the ACLU and other civil rights organizations so that they can continue to fight on our behalf are other good ideas.
I’m not saying protesting is a bad idea. Protesting is utilizing our first amendment rights, and it’s very important. But we need to have a multi-faceted approach to our political work now. And where I may not be able to protest, I’m going to at least make the calls and write the letters.
It’s time to be active on a metaphysical level. One of the things that has been very effective in the past is when pagans unite at a specific date and time to send prayers and energy to help overcome a situation. If we can do that more often, even once a month, it may help to lessen the effects that we have to deal with for the next four years. So I’m working with some friends in order to figure out how something like that would work. Perhaps if we start organizing these types of things a week or two in advance, more people can participate. This would also allow us to focus our energy on what is needed the most at a specific time. Further, any network that is put together I want to see done on a private level. That way each person has a choice to promote the event or not, and are not immediately ‘outed’ by joining a certain Facebook or Google+ group. I will provide more detail as things progress on that front (or comment here if you would like to have that information when it is ready).
One thing is clear to me; here in the United States, we will need to fight to keep the things that we have achieved. We are not going to win on everything, but if we can stick together, we can help lessen the effects of this administration, and perhaps become more united than we are right now.