As Cheeto Hitler takes the reins of our government, we can expect political conditions to get ugly fast. Next spring is not the time to figure out how you plan to get engaged in politics. This is the time to get organized, while things are quiet and there are still some competent people in charge.
Here are a few steps I’m taking. If you’ll join me on these, particularly in gathering contact information for elected officials, we’ll plan on taking some actions together when the time comes.
Make a list of your elected officials including office phone numbers. That list should at least include the following:
In the past I’ve volunteered for state and Congressional campaigns, but never once in my life have I called my Congressman about anything. That is going to change. After the Inauguration and the launch of the new Congress we’ll be organizing call campaigns here for certain cross-partisan or trans-partisan issues. This is a chance to make an impact with a 5-minute investment of time.
It is extremely important that this list extend down to city and county levels. We are likely to face issues under the next Administration with implications for schools and law enforcement. Your city councilman doesn’t get a lot of phone calls. One call counts for a lot more at the most local level.
Keep in mind, there is little utility in sending messages to your congressman via email or social media. However, as you go farther down that list social media becomes more important as a pressure point.
I decided to trim my social media network. Facebook and Twitter are lousy environments for persuasion, but they are fantastic platforms for organization and activism. I have eliminated a lot of useless people from my Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as my life, quite frankly. Some people make few contributions beyond distractions and noise. This is a good time to turn down the noise.
Friends on my network who believe stuff that they read on Breitbart are beyond persuasion. They don’t need to hear my positions or arguments; they simply have to be defeated through superior organization, turnout, and advocacy.
With that in mind, consider investing less energy in pointless wrangling with idiots. Find out who stands where and build networks with the right people. On social media, be bold. Be smart. Check your facts and do not apologize.
Consider following this site on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PolOrphans/. I tweet @ChrisALadd.
Give what you can. Do it aggressively. Big organizations like the Urban League and the Southern Poverty Law Center will need help, but keep an eye on local groups also. Over the past half-decade, we have been building up a stock fund. It’s the pool of money we hope to use to move back to Texas and buy that patch of land I’ve had my eye on. We’re taking a chunk out of that to make a few sizable donations right now. Then we’re setting up repeat donations.
If you have stock, it makes a great donation. Your capital gains are effectively eliminated (with some limits). This makes it possible to give more than if you sold the stock and donated the proceeds. Here’s where our money is going currently:
Our local church
Southern Poverty Law Center
Natural Resources Defense Fund
The most consistently insightful reporting from the last cycle came from the Washington Post, specifically David Farenthold. We’ve subscribed there, as well as to The Atlantic and the New Yorker. We’re also making donations to Wikipedia and ProPublica.
Other repeat donations will be going to our local public radio and TV.
What have I missed here?
In answer to my own question, here are some things I missed. Credit goes to the lovely Mrs. PoliticalOrphans. This was also mentioned by a commenter, Archetrix. Some very effective boycotts and protests have been organized to target the Trump family businesses and businesses that continue to advertise on Breitbart.
https://grabyourwallet.org/ is posting a list of Trump-owned businesses and the businesses that promote them. The site includes phone numbers and email. Hit em hard and hit em often.
Shannon Coulter helped organize the grabyourwallet effort. You can follow her on Twitter here: @
You can follow developments in the Brietbart boycott and protests at this Twitter account:@
Social media does have value after all.