This is an expansion of the original post “Five Ways for Liberals to Overcome Those Red State Blues“.
The first way to shake those Red State Blues is to connect. A sense of isolation is the most prominent aspect of being liberal and living in a red state like mine, Oklahoma.
So how do we go about getting connected? It’s easier now than it’s ever been. Here are some ideas:
Everyone wants your email address. If you are willing to share it, you will not be ignored. That’s not the hard part. Managing the avalanche of emails once you start sharing is the hard part. So, unless you are good at using Hotmail or Gmail tools that allow you to sort different kinds of emails as they come in, just set up a new email account that you will use only to give out to political organizations.
Plan out who you want to inform you. The obvious first stop is the Democratic party in your state. In Oklahoma City, for instance, search “Democratic Party in OKC” and you get this:
This type of search will work for any state or city in which you live. As you can see there are plenty of avenues right here in this big-time red state of Oklahoma. If there are options to connect here, then there are even more options in your state.
Here in Oklahoma, the website to start will be: OkDemocrats.org From there you can find local groups in your county and city.
And yes, sometimes I get plenty disappointed in the national and state Democratic Party. But the reality is that the two “bigs”, Democratic and Republican parties, are very broad coalitions that help people find their way into more specific groups.
On Twitter: The obvious first step is @OkDemocrats. @OkPolicy is a good think tank to give you some hard info from the Progressive perspective. Pay attention to those emails from Twitter that give you some ideas about who to follow and expand your followings to stay informed.
On Facebook for Oklahoma: I have found many good groups to join that have kept me informed beyond the right-wing hype of big media controlled by corporate and conservative agendas. Especially helpful are the local state affiliates with Move-On.org. Since I have been a teacher of many sorts, I also am a part of several Facebook groups that focus on education issues. OkDemocrats is a good start on Facebook if you are in Oklahoma.
Face-to-face contact is the ultimate way to shake those Red State Blues. Political campaigns are a good way to get that type of contact with others whose beliefs are like yours. Especially now, as primary season is underway, you will not have a hard time finding a campaign that would be glad to put you to work at their campaign headquarters doing all kinds of simple things or, if you are more brave, helping to knock doors and place signs for the candidate.
Listen to public radio to hear announcements that will give you ideas of events where you may meet fellow liberals for fun and dialogue. If you start with NPR.org, you can find the local affiliates in your state there. In Oklahoma, the two NPR stations are KOSU.org and KGOU.org, both connected to our largest universities.
Have you found good ways to connect to others who hold some of the same political views as you do? Let us know in the comments. (I will approve any comment that is not obviously a troll from the right trying to disrupt the conversation.) Or, comment in social media through Twitter @OklaBrett if you are outside of Oklahoma or @BrettDOkc if you are in Oklahoma.