#Pocalypso | Going Beyond the Yakking

2020-06-16 – We all love to yak about the state of the world. Social media is made for that. But yakking on social media rarely fixes anything. You have to get up and do something.

Doing something can be taking to the streets. We’ve seen a lot of that in recent weeks. You’ve gotten people’s attention. The vast majority of you have done a great service to the country. Keep it up. And take care of yourself.

Doing something can be petitioning the government—the executive, legislative, or judicial. Yesterday we saw the result of a petition to the judicial branch (aka a lawsuit) when the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits job discrimination against LGBT employees. It took great courage to pursue this result. GOP court packing made it seem unlikely for such a result to emerged. Who would have thought that Neil Gorsuch would write a 6-3 opinion affirming gay rights? But it happened.

Doing something can be working in your community. I have friends who work with kids who have been arrested. I do volunteer work applying for visas to legalize the status of immigrants who have been crime victims in the United States. Who would have even thought something like that was even a thing? Do some research. Find out who needs your help.

Doing something can be organizing voters. Over the years that the GOP was accumulating political power far beyond their actual numbers, Dems have been pretty lax on this. Until 2017. Trump’s election and inauguration were a shock. A number of organizations sprang up to turn this around. In 2018, I joined a Swing Left group on the north side of Chicago and we adopted a district in the northwest suburbs that had been a safe Republican district. We kicked the incumbent’s ass and got Democrat Sean Casten elected. And we weren’t the only ones in the country. Our efforts put Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s chair instead of Paul Ryan!!!

I don’t usually use exclamation points. And I almost never use three of them. But this is an exception. What we did was game changing.

And when I say “we,” I don’t mean that my efforts turned the tide. Millions of people contributed their efforts. That is what was game changing.

But here’s one more thing: It’s not a game.

If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that our lives are at stake if the only thing we do is sit around and yak. And don’t let the pandemic stop you. Last night I attended my first Swing Left meeting of this cycle via Zoom. There are many things you can do while social distancing.

You can’t read my lips because I’m wearing a mask. So look at my eyes and listen to my voice. You can make a difference. Do something.

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