She turned to Matt looking for suggestions. I found his response compelling.
If you’re a progressive and you feel that the political system isn’t doing what you want, it’s misguided to look at this as a personal failure of elected officials. It’s, if anything, a personal failure of you and people like you. Justice and equality doesn’t just happen because it’s nice, people need to make it happen. If it’s not happening, then its advocates are failing. And I do think there’s a lot of wisdom to the old Le Tigre song “Get Off The Internet.”
Reading and talking to like-minded people about how powerful people are failing can seem like action, but it really isn’t.
I agree with nearly all of this, though I’d probably take an ever-so-slightly different approach. Getting informed and engaging in political discourse is, to my mind, a form of action — action that the vast majority of Americans never bother to take. Investing the time and energy in reading worthwhile blogs and/or watching programs like “The Rachel Maddow Show” or “Countdown,” hopefully, on good days, gives news consumers a base of information they can use. It’s a foundation. It’s a prerequisite. It’s an important first step.
But it’s not the last step. I don’t want folks to get off the Internet and/or turn off their televisions — at least not at first — but I certainly wouldn’t mind if folks got informed and then get off the Internet and turn off their televisions.