Day 243 / 365
In light of the American elections and how the popular vote affects us all, I've decided to share a number of opinion pieces and resources from my fellow bloggers. You can read my piece HERE, the one below is by my fellow Ethical Writers Coalition member Alden Wicker of Eco Cult, blog cleverly covers all aspects of sustainable living in an informative, aesthetically pleasing, and positive way. 
I’ve never considered myself a political person. I am now. And you should be, too.

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering my thoughts. I’ve been reading a lot, parsing through competing opinions, trying to understand what happened on November 8th. I’ve taken a lot of little actions here and there – donating, signing up for things, calling my reps.

And now I’m sensing a coalescence into a generally agreed-upon plan for not only surviving a potential Trump presidency, but using the election results to galvanize us into action. This may have been a step back, but if we do this right, we could take a leap forward soon.

Here’s how to be an effective environmentalist and progressive, protect our planet, and support broad change in this new world we find ourselves in:

1. Carve a sharp message.
Yes, Trump is a bigoted, sociopathic, bullying, lying, sexist, groping, fear-mongering, homophobic, cheating, climate denying, ignorant asshole. But you can’t fight all of these things at once, and you can’t do it with hyperbole. If you go into every debate leading with, “Trump is racist and so are his voters,” then you won’t get anywhere.

Choose a cause/message (no more than three) that you most care about, and prioritize your time, money, and emotional support toward them, instead of getting distracted by whatever stupid thing Trump is tweeting about today. (Narcissists thrive on attention. Don’t give it to him.) Personally, I’m choosing three things:

1. Keeping the election a fair representation of the will of the people (starting with faithless electors and recounts, and donating to this guy, then abolishing the electoral college, and combatting voter suppression by the Republican party)

2. Protecting the environment and combating climate change

3. Preventing corruption and narrowing the wealth gap

Whatever to the Hamilton musical drama; what I care about today is Trump’s appointee to the EPA, a climate denier. Tomorrow, I will still care about this. And next week, and three months from now, and next year I will still be following Trump’s actions on the environment and fighting them from all fronts. I will care about The Wall when he makes moves to build it. Right now I’m watching him stock his cabinet with wealthy establishment Republicans, and flouting conflict of interest guidelines. (I know there are other important issues – and I know others will choose to support them instead of the environment, and that’s great.)

By slavishly devoting yourself to just a few issues, you can also become shockingly informed. When entering a debate or discussion, it’s important to make sure you have specific facts (including numbers) and a bipartisan source for them. And it’s important to really know your stuff for when you call your representative. (More on that later.)

In summary, ditch the fluff and get to the meat of the matter: the legislation, the policy, the money, the things that are happening now that will impact people’s lives in a concrete way.
Here’s how to do that…

2. Support good journalism.
You can’t do any of the above without the facts. A good citizen is an informed citizen. And this election sounded the alarm bell. Fake news spread quickly in a populis that can’t tell when they’re on a fake news siteRussia got involved in spreading propaganda in support of Trump. Trump has indicated he want to use strongman tactics to silence journalists. I even saw some liberal Facebook friends sharing nonsense about Hillary leading a pedophile ring. Right ring readers were engaging more with policy stories than left wing readers. Now is the time to read and support journalism.

- Sign up for Blendle. You pay $0.50, more or less, for each article you read, which goes back to the original, high-quality publication, such as The EconomistThe Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalTimeNewsweek, and more. Every morning I get an email with the best news and thoughtful op-eds from a variety of sources, and they occasionally send out deep dive emails with several reads on the same topic. I’m a huge reader, and I still only go through about $5 a month in journalism.

- Subscribe to The Best of Journalism. ($2 per month.) It delivers a weekly email with amazing reads, and not all of it on politics. Some of it is just entertaining.

- Subscribe to a news source that does good investigative journalism that keeps the powers accountable. Mine is the New York Times, yours might be The Washington PostLA Times, the Christian Science Monitor…whatever you like. If you want to find one that that is unbiased or jives with your views, check out this list which parses how right or left each news source is.

- Know the bias of what you’re reading. He’s a Chrome extension that will tell you.

- Install this extension that will flag fake news sites.

- Whenever you see someone post a fake news item on Facebook, comment and say so. Don’t let them spread misinformation.

- Also subscribe to a local news outlet – they keep an eye on the things that will affect you this year, like local ordinances, building permits, taxes, etc.

3. Call your representatives.
Forget the tweets and Facebook comments. Representatives are moved by CALLING. Here’s why. Here is the very best guide to calling your representatives. Read it all, do what it says. And download this guide.
Just an idea: if a family member voted for Trump, donate to a cause he will attack or defund.

4. Donate to a cause that will be attacked or de-funded by Trump.
Please, please, please make it a recurring donation. That allows the organization to better plan ahead according to what money will be coming in. Treat it like a monthly bill: important, to be worked into your budget. Here’s a bunch of ideas for where to donate to.

5. Volunteer for a cause that will be attacked or de-funded by Trump.

Get involved on the local level. This keeps you engaged and passionate, and introduces you to a network of living and breathing people who will energize you and give you guidance. It could be volunteering at a local park, at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for a local environmental organization that fights for clean air or water, at a local abortion clinic to help protect women from aggressive protesters, at an organization that tries to improve interfaith or interrace relations, for an organization that aids immigrants, etc. etc.