The past two years have seen a rise in what I call the “apprentice activist.” I was one of them. I was not involved in politics prior to 2008 other than to vote in elections. But in 2009 I “woke up” and attended a tax day Tea Party in downtown Seattle (thank you, Keli Carender!) and also joined other similar-minded activists outside Jay Inslee’s office and near Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, protesting Obamacare. I then stepped up a bit and actually helped promote additional protests at Northgate, Mercer Island, Seattle, and Olympia. I felt pretty good about myself – I had made intelligently-worded signs mocking our current politicians and their outlandish legislation, took time out of my day to attend Tea Parties and sign-waving protests, and yelled, “No new taxes!” and “Stop Obamacare!” in unison with thousands of other Conservatives and Constitutionalists throughout the Puget Sound.
But even though I felt good that I had indeed awakened and was seeing others like myself awakened, I questioned if it was enough to make a difference. I realized that it wasn't too difficult to participate in a Tea Party or similar protests. When I stand around holding a sign with people I agree with, it can certainly be both fun and fulfilling, but I have to admit it’s also fairly easy. And it’s not supposed to be easy to make change, especially in our liberal Washington State.
So I decided I needed to step up from being an “apprentice activist” to being a “master activist.” And I encourage all my fellow apprentices, who also recently awakened and have been doing a little tea-partying and a lot of complaining about what is going on in Congress, Olympia, and the White House, to also step up.
It’s not enough that we only chant about our grievances at a rally, and it’s not going to be enough to make a difference in the November elections if after wisely choosing which Conservative candidates to vote for in 2010, we revert to sitting back and waiting for our ballots to arrive in the mail. A master activist campaigns for his or her chosen candidates in any or all of these ways:
- volunteers on their campaign teams;
- promotes their name to friends and family;
- points people to their websites on Facebook;
- posts signs in yards on along sidewalks;
- waves campaign signs in summer parades and at events.
Did you know that less than 5% of Americans donate to a political candidate? If you haven’t donated to a political candidate before, this is the time to start. Of all the years, 2010 is thee year to donate! We must help put Conservatives and Constitutionalists in political office this year, and donating to their campaigns is one way to better assure this will happen.
Again, it’s wonderful that you and I have spent time as apprentices to attend candidate forums to learn about whom to vote for. It’s fantastic that we attended Tea Parties and waved our signs. But if we aren’t willing to part with some of our hard-earned dollars to help get Conservatives in Congress and in Olympia, then our time, our chanting, and our sign-waving will most likely be for naught.
In this decisive year of 2010, I decided to donate a cash-fraction of the number “2010” to some of my chosen candidates. No, it wasn’t $2,010 (I wish!); it was $20.10. I figured I spent that much money alone simply in buying poster board and gas to participate in last spring’s tax day Tea Party. It’s not a lot of money, but if all of us who have awakened in the past year or two were to do the same, and donate $20.10 to a few favorite candidates, the Conservatives and Constitutionalists will better be able to get out their names to voters via radio ads, campaign signs, and literature-drops at doorsteps.
So what do you say? Can you spare $20.10? Can you join a candidate’s campaign team and offer to help? Can you move from being an apprentice activist to a seriously involved, master activist? As a famous candidate once said in 2008, “Yes, you can!”
- Dan Michael, organizer of the Puget Sound Conservative Underground http://www.meetup.com/pugetsoundconservativeunderground/ or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54613747642