It’s easy to feel powerless given our politics today. It feels like the media, big money and the elite are manipulating the system to their benefit at the expense of everybody else. You’re not wrong. But we can’t let that continue. Each of us can do our small part to make our republic better so that we can all live our best life.
Understand toxic partisanship
There’s nothing inherently bad about being a proud Democrat or Republican. However, it can quickly become damaging when people consider those in the other party to be their enemy. Learning more about how we became so partisan and what forces make us feel that way gives you the skills to prevent yourself and others from becoming dangerously partisan.
For the bookworm: Love Your Enemies
For the article reader: No Hate Left Behind
For the data wiz: HiddenTribes
For the podcaster: More Divided Than Ever: Excavating the Roots Of Our Political Landscape
Define what matters to you
Some of us have a specific idea of what we want in a politician, most of us do not. We don’t know what things we should value. Should we care about policy? Experience? Effectiveness? Character? How should we compare which factor matters more than another? If I think a candidate is smart and honest, but they support policies I don’t like, how should I feel? Unfortunately, there is no objectively right answer, but there is likely a right answer for you. Thinking about this in a structured way can help.
Since our brain likes to feel like it is consistent and logical, it’s best to come up with a framework that makes sense to you, before inserting any real person into it. This way, you may feel like you’ve picked someone with a bit more thought than who you’d rather have a beer with (but, hey we’re a democracy, so do what feels right boo).
Because it’s complicated and nuanced, most people feel overwhelmed about the prospect of figuring out who they should support. This is a big reason why we tend to ignore the political process until there are only two options left to choose from…which has not turned out so well for us.
If you need a place to start, I created a one-page(ish) framework to evaluate the 2020 presidential candidate’s. It can be found here: What matters in a President: A framework for evaluating politicians.
Micro donate to your favorite candidate
Adding money to politics may not seem like a helpful thing on the surface, but political contributions are a fundamental part of our democratic process, at least right now. We can use it for good or opt-out and let the big companies and the elite wield it for their self-interest.
Once you have an idea of which candidate you like, sending them a small donation has an impact beyond just helping them buy more cheesy TV ads. It sends a signal to the candidate and to other people that this person is worth supporting – social scientists call this social norming. Take two candidates, Ashley and Will. Ashley has received donations from 20 million people while Will has received donations from 100,000 people. If we have no other information about either of them, we will have a more positive view of Ashley because more people support her. This is why likes and views dictate everything in the social media world.
If there’s a candidate you support and you can spare the change, send them a small donation and tell your friends – you’ll be helping them more than you know.
Donate to Democrats: ActBlue
Donate to Republicans: WinRed
Donate to Independents: The google machine
Small steps add up
Politics is simply the name for how we – as a country – try to take into account the opinions of over 300 million people. Looking at the United States from that vantage, it’s pretty bananas we’re able to get anything done. If we each take a little time to understand what we want a bit better, life can get better for all of us. Remember, you have influence, you just need to claim it.
The President has authorized the immediate cessation of foreclosure and eviction proceedings for American citizens on March 21,2020.
President Trump: “Governors, mayors, businesses, charities, and citizens are all working with urgency and speed toward one common goal, which is saving American lives.”
Yesterday, President Trump spoke with 12,000 small businesses—the economic engine of our country.
“I signed legislation providing American workers with paid sick leave and paid family medical leave, at no cost to employers, and free testing for those that need it . . . We’re working quickly to pass additional legislation that will provide massive relief to small businesses and affected industries, and give direct payments to our great workers and hardworking American families.”
Testing is expanding rapidly across the country.
Thank you to ALL Americans who are putting the steps to slow the spread into practice!
The Trump Administration is doing everything within its power to support them and their employees.
We’re grateful to America’s faith leaders for making the hard decision to suspend weekend services—and we ask Americans to continue supporting their places of worship in serving the community.
“Stay at home and save lives. It’s a time of shared national sacrifice, but it’s also a time to treasure our loved ones and to take stock of what’s most important.”
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor: FEMA is leading Federal response operations on behalf of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“We will do whatever is necessary to get states, tribes, territories, and others what they need.”
“The President has authorized the immediate cessation of foreclosure and eviction proceedings for American citizens … It’s all about helping our people.”
Message is coming
Message from Christine Ellis 2020
Christine Ellis meets with children at the Chandler Public Library to answer some easy and tough questions on June 3, 2019.
Governor Doug Ducey announced a new executive order for all Arizona residents to Stay Home.
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Message from Councilmember Mark Stewart on March 19, 2020
Message from the Thai Heritage of Arizona on March 16, 2020 – Ying Wee
03/16/2020 A Message from Mayor Kevin Hartke, City Manager Marsha Reed, and Fire Chief Tom Dwiggins on COVID-19.
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