When we find things we can do about a particular problem, we feel empowered. I've been thinking what can I do about the negative atmosphere in our country which is impacting us on various levels from physical to emotional.
One solution is political and how to help get people elected with our moral values. During the last election, we donated money to two political candidates. One wasn't in our district, but we knew he was really good at supporting the issues we care about, good for our country. It was the first time we had donated outside our voting district. I can see it won't be the last. We need to provide conomic and physical support for people who are offering reasonable ideas, not pushing paranoia or anger. It's one tool we have.
Another of my ideas has been for in place for quite awhile-- not watch any programing that pushes hate or fear. And by that, I mean right and left. The hate can be inspired many ways, but I am beginning to listen for key words. When a pundit uses one, I turn them off right then. I probably need to write to the particular network or outlet and tell them what I did and why.
That left a problem with programs that I never watch or listen to. What could I do to possibly change a Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh and encourage them to write more of their conservative ideas and less of their demonization of the 'other'? It's not like they care what I, a leftie, think. They already know I have no use for their way of thinking because I, and many like me who once did listen to them, quit years ago.
This might surprise some lefties, but before the GW Bush years, Limbaugh was less a shill for a certain segment of the Republican party (think Dick Cheney) and more into discussing real issues from a coservative slant. Whatever has happened to him since, when I do hear him, which is only on trips where talk radio is all that is available, he becomes intolerable quickly. It's all attack and no real discussion of alternative ideas that might work in a nation as complex as ours. Was he competing with Glenn Beck and had to go further right? I don't know but just cutting taxes will not solve our very real problems.
So what can a person do? The idea of boycotting their corporate sponsors, their economic enablers is growing on me. The more I have thought of it, the more I feel reduced anger and a sense of resolve. Resolved means a determination to calmly and with no anger, do what I can.
That means no enemy lists because those sponsors are not evil. They are enablers. We can work to stop that from proving profitable.
I didn't come to this idea easily. It was kind of a last resort for me when I read the reaction from Limbaugh and the others to the recent shooting. It came thinking of a little girl being brutally murdered and one group of people not wanting to even consider they might have some responsibility for how they talk. It came out of a sense that any of us could have been there that day.
There is no hope for the far righties changing if this horrible event didn't convince them that the atmosphere is poisoned. If they are still justifying themselves, it will take something that hits at what matters to them. Maybe that's money.
When I went looking online for a list of sponsors of Limbaugh, I saw this has been in other people's minds already. I won't be posting any lists here and will try to keep track of whether these sponsors drop him. It isn't enough to just stop buying, we have to tell them why. It is important to notify the company of why.
The last thing I want to do is demonize any human being. I do not want to be part of a future violent attack against anyone. I also don't want to have violent dreams which I have had since the Tucson shootings. Last night, after I realized what could be done, the anger was gone and there was no midnight dream of being witness to something violent happening to someone else.
We don't have to put our heads in the sand or watch every single thing that happens to the point we become incapacitated by events. What we need now is not anger but resolve. Resolve is a very good word. It's a calm word but one determined to make a difference.