There are a lot of things happening with the current administration in Washington that I disagree with. It seems that every day there’s something new that I find to be outrageous at best, reprehensible at worst. And I want to get involved. I want to be one of those people that makes phone calls and writes letters and gets active when things are objectionable in our government. But there are so very many issues that require action and attention that I don’t know where to start, and the concept of needing to express my opinion on all of them is filling me with a crippling fear that I can’t shake.
Before we deal with my brain telling me I need to sound off on all issues all the time in order to be an involved citizen during this administration, let’s look at my problems with tackling even one of them.
I’m absolutely terrible on a phone call. I don’t know whether it’s social anxiety or what, but it’s almost like I’ve lost the skill of talking to another human on the phone. I talk to my wife during her lunch almost every day that she doesn’t come home, and a lot of our conversation is tied up with us silently doing something else besides actually conversing back and forth with one another. My brain is telling me that it’s a good thing that the phone lines to our representatives are overwhelmed because I don’t know how to articulate what I want to say to them about the issues besides “issue bad, no do issue.”
I’m not much better with letter writing either because, again, I don’t know the issues well enough to articulate what I find wrong with them. I just know I have an opinion, and writing “issue bad, no do issue” is no better than saying it in a phone call. Researching the issues takes a lot of time carefully dodging biased information sources to get to the facts about what’s transpiring – it’s not that I’m not willing to put in the time, I just don’t know where to start.
Going to visit my representative’s office is right out, for the same reasons I list above, plus the crippling anxiety that I deal with most every day.
Add to that the overwhelming feeling that I’m drowning in things that need to be done for our country and I just don’t know where to start, or even how.
Every day that passes by that I don’t act in some way, I feel like I’m failing my fellow Americans who are in danger of losing the ground they’ve fought to gain and continue fighting to hold every single day. So on top of being overwhelmed, on top of the anxiety that’s preventing me from lifting a finger, I’m also dealing with the guilt that I’m not doing anything.
I hate no-win situations and I can’t help but find myself in one almost constantly. This is the one I’m dealing with right now.
And the sad part is this kind of reaction is exactly what the current administration is counting on, that people like me won’t get involved and won’t speak their mind, so they can run roughshod over the American people and America itself under the guise of “America First.” That very phrase chills me to the bone given how it’s been historically used in this country. The intolerance that’s so subtly hidden in those two words is, to use the catchphrase of the moment, deplorable.
I can’t bring myself to act. But it’s important that I do, and so I need to find a way to shake my issues around it and get the job done. The country is depending on people like me to make their voices heard and their opinions known.
NB: I figure that if I’m going to be a little more political in my posts, I’m going to have to create a category for them all to go in. In keeping with the Beatles theme with my categories, this new one that I’m starting with this post is called “Revolution.”