Start calling a spade a spade. If someone lies, call them a liar. If they steal, call them a thief. Either way, don’t call them a President. Forget shielding people’s feelings from the harsh reality of life. We’re all adults here. We need to stop softening terms to make them sound nice. If someone is wrong, don’t just say you disagree. Tell them they are wrong. Say, “You have the right to believe what you want, but you are WRONG!” Facts are not merely opinions. That’s why they call them FACTS. Leading to my next point…
Don’t be afraid to let it get ugly. We’re not playing a game here. This is the only life you get. Don’t you want to live it in the best conditions possible? Then why do you allow these conditions to be compromised by every politician that comes along? This is your country. This is your life. Don’t let someone else control such a large portion of it. You’re going to have to argue, debate, and maybe even endure some things you’re uncomfortable with, but imagine the pay-off. You can’t just hope things will get better. You have to make it happen. If not you, then who?
Be aggressive. Pick one issue and stick to it. Talk about other issues if you want, but decide what is most important and defend it. Talk to everyone about it. For some reason Americans have stopped discussing politics. We don’t talk about it with friends or family. We discuss it with strangers because there’s no risk. We don’t have to deal with the consequences of offending anyone. Politics is not religion. You’re not trying change someone’s entire belief system, you’re only trying to educate them on one issue. You are giving them information they didn’t have before to illustrate a point. You are not trying to convince them that an invisible man controls the universe. You are not crazy. You are passionately defending FACTS.
Don’t get distracted. Now that you’ve chosen an issue, don’t get sucked into arguments about others. Relate them back to your issue because that’s what you’re most knowledgeable about. If you can’t, opt out of the discussion. You’re smart, but you don’t know everything. You lose credibility when you aren’t 100% sure of what you’re saying. Trust me, anyone in opposition will attack you, and they’ll try to catch you off-guard. If they get off-track, bring them back around. Control the terms of the debate.
Buy carefully. Do your homework and don’t buy from companies who support things you disagree with. If you don’t like the bovine growth hormone, only eat Ben & Jerry’s. If you think Mormons are stupid, don’t shop at Albertson’s or Acme. If you have a conscience, stay away from Halliburton and diamonds. Trade-in the SUV for a hybrid. Better yet, get a bio-diesel car and invest in vegetable oil. If you can afford it, buy organic. It’s better for you.
Run for office. You don’t have to be the President of the United States if you can make a difference by being the President of the School Board. Thee are hundreds of local positions just begging for educated people to run for them. You don’t need a law degree, though it always helps to study it a little. Make a difference in your community by running for a position in the area of your pet issue. Don’t run for Head Dog Catcher if you would be of better use on the School Board, City Council, or Chamber of Commerce.
Tell people what you care about. Get into the practice of checking facts, especially when it comes to politicians and the media. If you find discrepancies, write them down and record the facts. Write a letter to the person who was at fault. Send the letter to local, state, and federal politicians, local newspapers, friends, family members, and anyone else you think should know. Invest in stamps.
Network with friends. Talk to people who are like-minded. You won’ regret it. If you haven’t heard, we can learn things from each other. That’s why discussion and debate is so important. When you talk to someone who is on the same page, you learn new ways to defend your position. Benefit from the experience of others. Organize into a group and build a bigger network.
Be visible. Make T-shirts and do things together in support of your issue. Don’t forget to call the media. Sponsor sports teams. Hold fundraisers. Get involved in local campaigns. Recruit small-business owners and publish a list of your issue-friendly services. Support people who support you. Recruit lawyers and hold protests. Recruit teachers and hold seminars. Get people from all walks of life and make sure they’re actively involved. No one gets to throw money at the organization and stand idly by. Adopt a do-something-or-get-out-of-my-way attitude and stick to it. Demand that those around you be active participants in their communities.