Yeah. It’s been a tough year so far in Oklahoma. Those who actually expect logic and sanity to have anything to do with public policy are suffering what I call the Red State Blues.
Our state legislature, more of an extension office of ALEC and the Koch Brothers, continues to gleefully pass laws that don’t matter and carefully avoid those that do.
So, it’s not unusual to hear liberals and progressives talking about the blues that develop after seeing so much idiocy in the public sphere. How we can overcome those Red State Blues?
In future posts I will develop more fully these five ways to do that:
1. Connect with fellow liberals and progressives locally, and in person.
Are you upset that the local paper sings only one note for the far right? Do you get angry at the ways in which there is so much disruption and shouting on social media at times by those convinced of the correctness of their wing-nut agenda? One important way for liberals to have meaningful connections is in person and locally.
2. Develop a political posture that fits your personality.
Not everyone is well-suited to accept an arrest and jail time for a cause. And not everyone is suited to even go to a rally or march for a cause. But those aren’t the only two options for political involvement about what you believe. There are far more other ways to support the causes that capture your interest and passion.
3. Set a goal to do one new thing each year to promote progressive thinking and action in your city and state.
Sometimes we liberals in red states get the blues from just the enormity – the volume – of the crazy stuff that we see going on. It can seem like a flood that cannot be stopped. But, it can over time, if each liberal decides to pick one new thing that you can do to improve the public attitude about cultural and political issues. And the blues will go away as you see progress.
4. Let others know your position through social media in ways that do not offend your conservative friends and employer.
One large contributor to red state blues is the number of employers who ascribe to right-wing ideology and expect their employees to stay silent if they don’t agree, or to give active approval. You can express your political opinion as long as you are aware of the offense triggers that can cause trouble for you.
5. Move from being a resentful liberal to a politically active progressive.
This is the big one. Resentment is born from being a cultural minority in a red state. Being a racial and cultural minority is even harder. So the effort in shaking the red state blues is to not see yourself as helpless. You’re not. We can work our way out of that paralyzing resentment through political action that fits our personality and skills the best.
I’m looking forward to your response to these ideas as I develop them further over the next several weeks.