The truth is, I would rather not be involved in INEO. I would rather be making weekend plans, cleaning out my basement, and thinking about what’s for dinner. And I’m guessing you might feel the same. We are busy people – parents, partners, employees, caretakers, sons and daughters. We’ve got lives to lead. Our to-do lists are already too long. And yet.
Donald Trump was elected president, and things have abruptly turned wrong. People are anxious and stressed and even scared. We wake up wondering what horrible thing happened while we were asleep. What did the president tweet? What executive order is next? What’s the latest Russian connection? What will North Korea do while we effectively have no one in the State Department?
Much as I would like to go about my normal life, to carry on as usual and let other people do the work of attending town halls and making phone calls, I can’t. And you can’t either. We can’t hand this responsibility off to other people because we are the other people. We’re the ones who need to take action, to right our country’s direction. We need to keep the momentum going, to support each other, to be good role models for our children, and to keep calling our representatives even when we don’t want to.
Here’s what I suggest: commit to taking one action every day.
INEO needs you! If we can all commit to one action a day, no matter how small, we can do big things. It’s good for democracy, but it’s also good for you. Being politically active is one way to beat back that doomsday feeling that many of us have been experiencing since November 8.
In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart, foul rivers and pollute the air, intensify the calamitous effects of climate change and profoundly weaken the system of American public education for all…. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.
The passive bystander approach doesn’t work here. We can’t just laugh off this president as a crazy man or shrug our shoulders and say it will be over in a few years. By remaining on the sidelines, we’re tacitly complicit.
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.— Elie Wiesel
INEO is asking you to commit to taking one action each day to fight the injustices of the Trump agenda. Just fives minutes a day can make a difference.
(1) Speak out against injustice. Whether you witness an act of personal oppression (e.g., anti-immigrant comments in the grocery store) or institutional oppression (e.g., the government rolling back LGBT rights), speak up.
(2) Visit the 5 Calls website or sign up for emails. This is a very easy way to make calls to your reps. Just visit the site, click on the topic that’s important to you, and you’ll see a script and your reps’ phone numbers.
(3) Write a postcard to Sen. Portman. Join our postcard campaign by sharing a photo of your postcard with us. We’ll post pictures on Instagram and send the real postcards on to the senator.
(5) Subscribe to the New York Times or the Washington Post. Online subscriptions are a great way to stay informed and support fact-based reporting. Our system of checks and balances is collapsing, and we’re counting on the press to take on this critical role and hold the Trump administration accountable.
(6) Check out the INEO Calendar. Meet like-minded people and get involved locally. Attend lectures, films, city council meetings, town halls, and other INEO events. And if you know of an event that you don’t see listed, tell us about it!
(7) Next time you see an INEO Call to Action on Facebook, pay attention. Resist those cute puppy videos and make a phone call instead. We’ve done all the legwork for you—providing you with the background information and phone numbers. All you have to do is follow through with the call.
By working together, we can create a powerful force for change that can’t be ignored.
The future depends on what you do today.—Mahatma Gandhi