What You Can Do
Quite often we get readers who say, "This is all fine and dandy, but I'm tired of reading all this and want to know how to use it to make real and substantial change!"
(1) Educate Yourself. Know that reading BuzzFlash has value in and of itself. Being on top of the issues and knowing what politicians, media and opinion leaders are undermining democracy for their personal or financial gain gives you the tools to speak intelligently and with conviction when confronted by the ignorant and uninformed. It's like exercising for a marathon -- you run every day so you can be ready for the race.
When you need help with hard facts, use the BuzzFlash searchable database that we started in August 2005. Go to http://www.buzzflash.com/search/ and enter your key words.
Also, Maureen Farrell's articles, especially the 3-part "Tired of Being Lied To? Modern History You Can't Afford to Ignore," provide a compendium of facts and documentation that can refresh your memory or bolster arguments.
(2) Share Your Knowledge. Call one person a week (or a month) to talk about the issues and why you feel the way you do. Personal contact is everything, and your passion can wake up the apathetic. Whereas a forwarded email may get only a passing glance, a phone call must be either accepted or vigorously refuted. Be as open to hearing other views as you hope others will be to you. Your goal is not to win a debate, but to inform. If they change their mind afterwards, all the better.
(3) Educate Your Representatives. Know who your reps are and call them. Frequently. If you ever find yourself muttering about a particular piece of legislation or news, that's the time to call your reps and tell them what you think. The corporations and the rich just send money. You have your voice -- use it.
(4) Educate the Media. Both local and national; tv, radio and print. If you ever find yourself muttering how ignorant the news media are about a particular subject, it is incumbent upon you to call and correct them. Don't expect them to issue a correction, but you will have made them aware that their viewers actually hear and understand what they say and will call them when they get sloppy with the facts.
(5) Know What You Stand For. Know the core difference between progressive/liberal values and conservative values. Progressives and liberals (many Democrats) believe the government harnesses our collective strength -- often with our taxes -- for the common good. Note that all of the great advancements in our civilization were progressive/liberal goals. Conservatives/libertarians (some Republicans) believe government is the problem and should just get out of the way, because the "market" will punish bad business. Most of the rest (including the Bush administration) are simply out to use government for personal and financial gain.
(6) Support Good Government. Support every opportunity to open the government to public scrutiny, run bad politicians out of office, clean up our election process, make electronic voting open to public scrutiny, and remove the quid pro quo effects of corporate and large private donations. Clean, publicly-financed elections work.
(7) Stand Strong Against Ignorance. When in discussion with someone who disagrees with you, you don't have to raise your voice. Smile and repeat your points -- over and over. You have the facts (see #1) on your side. Often you must look at these conversations as tiny information seeds that you plant in your listener's brain. Either the seed germinates and grows into a better understanding of an issue or it dries and sticks in the skull like a pebble in a shoe. Either way, you win.
When in need of inspiration, visit our Eminently Quotable quotes page.
Hope that helps.
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