Ways and Means

What can I do so that I can begin to make a difference, politically? (with reference to pages 342-343 of WE, THE PEOPLE: A Conservative Populism) –

  • Try to democratize any organization of which you are a member; insist that they follow democratic procedures.
  • Get involved with your local government; e.g., volunteer to join a local board, committee or commission; attend local City Council or Town Meeting(s).
  • Join a local political party committee and/or club. Start by looking at the state party website for the party you favor to try to identify a committee or club in your area. State party websites can be accessed from the national sites; e.g., for Democrats: www.dnc.org; for Republicans, www.rnc.org.
  • Volunteer to help a political campaign.
  • Join or form a local political club, book or discussion group or civic association.
  • Get involved in an initiative and referendum campaign to get a public issue question on the ballot.
  • Support campaign finance reforms that place a higher value on people’s time than on contributors’ money.
  • Help to democratize any political party of which you are a member; especially, push to have them provide more support for local committees and to operate more from the bottom up than the top down.
  • Advocate more and better civics education for all ages but especially for the young in schools.
  • Provide more encouragement and support for political participation: within and among families.
  • Ask each and every candidate for political office at election time what they would do to empower you rather than themselves.
  • Support changes in the laws governing not-for-profit charitable organizations of all types to allow them to participate more in the political process without endangering their tax exempt status.
  • Support additional changes in elections laws at the state and local levels to enable instant runoff voting, repeal of “Motor Voter” and other initiatives discussed in Chapter 9 of WE, THE PEOPLE….
  • Advocate promotion of political volunteerism by any of the several organizations that are promoting volunteerism for “good causes.”
  • Ask for elected representatives to pay more attention to the “how” of politics (improving the process and reaching out to involve more people in it) and less to the “what” (particular “hot button” issues, especially those that are divisive).
  • Insist that candidates and elected officials speak to the issue of reforming the media and push for reforms such as those noted in chapter 8, including a public Internet to promote “digital democracy.”
  • Support state and local experimentation with, and testing of, new public policy ideas before they are enacted nationwide.
  • Write letters to editors of your local newspapers and/or to your elected representatives.