Politics Suck Right Now – Here’s How to Fight Back
“A Day Without a Woman” is tomorrow, March 8. There are some of us, myself included, who can’t afford to take the day off. There are other things you can do, like shopping only at women-owned businesses and wearing red to mark the day. If you know someone who can take off, thank them for protesting for us. That said, this is just one day. There are a lot of things you can do to fight back against the mess that is our current government. I recently spoke with Legion of Leia writer and all around awesome woman Dorina Arellano
about what you can do in your own town and on your own phone. After the interview, scroll down for resources and tips on calling.
First off, Dorina says she started joining Facebook groups, but that they ultimately became just a place to vent. “The thing that helped me most,” she said, ” was to meet with my close friends. I noticed that I would bring in one co-worker to these meetings that was very politically involved, and then they would tell us about groups that they’re a part of. You start to realize that there are groups all over the city, all over the country where people are taking initiative. What we started was literally just a Google doc/Excel sheet. We did a sheet with information on where to donate, and then a sheet on information about who to call and on what issues, and how to speak with these people. Another sheet was links that actually help you figure out how to resist. Then one with lists of calendar dates with these types of events.
“The biggest thing I noticed that helped, resource-wise was something called the Indivisible Guide
. It’s basically a 25 page document that Capitol Hill staffers came up with. It started out as a Google document and it became so popular that they turned it into a PDF to share with whomever is interested. It documents how the Tea Party was in the minority (and still is, thankfully) and still ended up being heard and in power. What you notice when you read this guide is, the other side did what we’ve never done, which is get involved on the grass roots level and actually call representatives and annoy the crap out of them. That’s never happened on our side. I think what happened on the Left is that we’ve become complacent in the last decade or so. We had a big social win for us. Same sex marriage, Obama…we thought we were progressing so we weren’t doing very much about it. While we were celebrating, the other side stared working for what they wanted to happen. We need to get together and do the same. I also want to be clear when I say “the other side” and “our side.” There are all kinds of people on both sides. There are a lot of conservative people who are opposing him, too. We need to work together.
What’s important here is to not get fatigued or discouraged. I think people have to find a happy medium or a balance. You can’t sit there all day on Twitter and be enraged and overwhelmed with everything that’s happening. It’s not a healthy way to live. At the same time, you can’t just ignore what’s happening. It’s always going to be in the back of your head. You’re going to feel helpless about it. What I recommend is to pick a couple of hours a day or whatever works for you, to do that type of stuff. I actually helps to put it in your calendar. Okay, during dinner at home or lunch at work, I’m going to read up on the news and then I’m going to look at my list. Who can I call today about the issues that matter to me? The resources (below) will tell you when a position is going to be filled up and when we need to call and say, “vote no on these people.” A lot of people will get discouraged and I understand the cynicism behind saying, “Oh, that doesn’t work.” But it does. That’s how the Tea Party came into power. Most of our politicians don’t care about anything except money and the election. So the way you get them to listen to you is by annoying the crap about him. People say protests don’t work. It’s just people whining. That’s not true. It inspire people to say, I’m not alone.”
Check out the Indivisible Guide
by clicking the link and take a look at the resources below. Follow Dorina on Twitter @EvilDorina
. Get involved. Strike tomorrow if you can. Shop only at women-owned businesses. Wear red. Make calls. Vote today if you’re home has an election. I’m heading out for that right now. Get involved. It worked for others. Let it work for us.
– The Indivisible Guide
: A guide to resistance, written by Capitol Hill staffers, on effective ways to get through to our representatives and make Congress listen, using Tea Party tactics. (It started out as a Google doc and became so popular that the authors turned it into a PDF available for free.)
– American Civil Liberties Union
: The ACLU has a few guides on what to do if you’re stopped by the police, ICE, or if your rights are violated at a demonstration or protest.
– Daily Action
: Easy and efficient way to contact your representatives before we vote some of these guys out in 2018 😀
– Town Hall Project
: Attend local Town Hall meetings and get involved in your local elections.
Tips on Calling:
Some tips for people who want to effectively resist the Trump regime right now:
–> You should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing. In-person encounters and calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to.
1. The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time.
2. Next best thing: calling. You should make 6 calls a day: 2 each (DC office and your local office) to your 2 Senators & your 1 Representative.
Every day, the Senior Staff and the Senator get a report of the 3 most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and local offices). They’re also sorted by zip code and area code. Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1. In the last 8 years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven’t.
So, when you call:
A) When calling the DC office, ask for the Staff member in charge of whatever you’re calling about (“Hi, I’d like to speak with the staffer in charge of Healthcare, please”). If you don’t have one, that’s ok – ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone. Don’t leave a message if you can avoid it.
B) Give them your zip code. They won’t always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they’ll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.
C) If you can make it personal, make it personal.
D) Pick 1-2 specific things per day to focus on. Don’t go down a whole list – ideally something that will be voted on/taken up in the next few days.
E) Be clear on what you want – i.e. “I’m disappointed that the Senator…” or “I want to thank the Senator for their vote on…”
F) It doesn’t matter if they get sick of you; the people answering the phones generally turn over every 6 weeks anyway.
If you hate being on the phone & feel awkward, there are a bunch of scripts you can use. After a few days of calling, it starts to feel a lot more natural.