How to Be a More Active Presidential Primary Progressive in Six Easy Steps

This list is not intended to be didactic.  Revise it.  Expand it.  Print it and use it as cat litter box liner.  Feel free to do with it as you please.  But I have a feeling it will be helpful to more than a few folks out there who want to make a difference but don’t know what to do to support progressive Presidential politics other than perpetually post memes.

1. Know Thy Political Self

What worked for Plato still works.  Know thyself.  Here’s a Presidential Primary “Know Thy Political Self” challenge:

Step 1:  Compose your Personal Political Philosophy.  Keep it to one page, about 350 typed words.

Step 2:  Compare your Personal Political Philosophy to the Issues Pages of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Step 3:  Spend a day mulling all of this over.

Step 4:  Write down on a piece of paper:  “I find myself more closely aligned with [INSERT CANDIDATE].”

Step 5:  If you can’t select a candidate, flip a coinThat worked great in Iowa, I hear.

2. Attend an Event for Both Candidates

Unless your state’s presidential caucus or primary has already occurred, consider attending an event for both presidential candidates.  Don’t worry:  that Netflix binge show will still be waiting for you tomorrow.  So put on some blue jeans and a plaid shirt—yes, for some reason, lots of people dress like lumberjacks for political rallies—and get out the door.

Here are the Event Pages for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Get up the gumption and ask a public question about an issue that really matters to you.  Approach a campaign staff member and/or a candidate surrogate and tell them you’re a voter who needs convincing.

Take home a bumper sticker for the candidate.  If you put it on your vehicle, you’re a true believer—or you better be, because you’re not getting that thing off anytime soon.

3. Post Things on Social Media in Support of Your Chosen Candidate

Note:  There’s a lot of Internet dreck out there about Hillary and Bernie.  If an article or meme seems suspect, take 10 minutes to research it before posting.  Guess what?  That process by itself will make you a more informed voter.

Also note:  The second you start posting about politics, you’ll find your “friends lists” diminish by about 10%.  And you’ll start getting mad at memes that poke fun at the fact that you actually give a horse’s patoot about the future of Civilization.

Also-also note:  Before you post something, ask yourself one question:  “Would I post this if the candidate himself or herself was in the room watching me?”  Yep.  WWHD?  And:  WWBD?

4. Volunteer for Your Candidate

Here are the volunteer pages for Bernie and Hillary.

By the way, don’t expect a thank you or a pat on the back.  Working on behalf of a political campaign is not for the faint of heart or for those who need to be coddled.  Imagine joining a circus midstream where no one has slept in months.  Get in there and hustle a phone bank or canvas a neighborhood or deliver yard signs.

That said:  every effort matters.  Yours included.

5. Contribute $ to Your Candidate’s Campaign

Here are the donate pages for Bernie and Hillary.  (I like that the Sanders Campaign calls it “Contribute.”)

If you work for Goldman Sachs, don’t worry.  You’ve already given plenty to certain candidates.

6. Vote in Your State’s Presidential Primary

Most important of all:  Vote.  Vote.  Vote.  Vote.  Vote.

Of course, you don’t have to vote for your candidate of choice.  In some states, you can cast a primary vote for either a Democratic or Republican candidate.  (In other words, one might vote for Donald Trump because one thinks that Bernie and/or Hillary would stand a better chance running against an egomaniacal billionaire who knows nothing about serving as the chief executive of a superpower government.)

Also, some states require registration or affiliation in advance of their primaries.  For example, to vote in the South Carolina Presidential Primary on February 20 (R) or February 27 (D), one needs to have registered by January 27.

Here is the 2016 Presidential Primary Schedule.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


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