Summon Your Courage

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. – Tim Ferriss

Recently, I was walking precincts and knocking on doors for a local conservative candidate running for a very influential office. Because local candidates don’t have access to the same media coverage as state or federal candidates, word of mouth and signage are extremely important for name recognition. When we’re talking to voters at their doorsteps, we will typically ask those who seem most engaged if they’d like to put a sign in their yard. Most say yes.

I stopped by one home and was delighted to find two very enthusiastic, middle-aged voters who were excited about the candidate. We chatted about the state of our community, and the problems that have been mounting for the last two years and even before COVID overreaches crushed our schools and businesses. We commiserated about the upside-down nature of the current culture, and what has to happen to right the direction of this nation. We shared our hopes that California voters, particularly in our area, will step up and finally hold the political class accountable for their mismanagement of our state and counties. The couple actually thanked me for working to get out the vote, and expressed their hopes for the conservative victory.

We spoke for a good ten minutes, and as our conversation closed, I moved in to close the deal. “Well, we’re so grateful for your support. Could I leave a sign for your yard?”

Their faces fell. The very nice gentleman said – very nicely, of course – “Oh, no. We don’t do that sort of things. We don’t want to upset our liberal neighbors.”

Of course, it is their choice. I thanked them and headed on my way, but I couldn’t let go of the conversation. I didn’t blame them, but it did disappoint me after that conversation.

We are living in unprecedented times. Our schools have been infected with dangerous ideology, cancel culture has taken over social media, Big Tech is censoring information and squashing free speech. Democrats have been using the pandemic to reach further and further into our lives and grab more and more power. Everyone who occupies any space of reason these days agrees that America is in big trouble. We’ve got a lot of work to do to correct course.

The couple I spoke to seemed to agree. Their sense of urgency matched mine. Unfortunately, their fear of condemnation outweighed that urgency.

Nothing is going to change until good people are willing to get uncomfortable. Now is not the time for peace. We’ve been trying for that, and the progressives have taken our silence as complacency, and they’ve exploited that.

Some of us are making deep personal sacrifices to run for our local offices and change the culture of our municipalities, and that’s great. Not everyone can put their life on hold for months at a time to take on such a huge task, but there is something for everyone to do if people can just find the courage to be uncomfortable.

Give two hours of your life to a local candidate and go help them knock on doors. Share their posts, or give them a bit of financial support. Become that person who reminds everyone to vote. Volunteer to work at the polls. See what local commissions or bureaucratic boards you can volunteer for. Often they are simple assignments that control important levers in your local government. Attend a city council or school board meeting (and stay to the end). Host a fundraiser.

Or put a sign in your yard.

It might anger your progressive neighbors. You might get some dirty looks. Maybe the odd passerby will ridicule you.

Oh well. Summon your courage. If you can’t do something big, do something small.

But please…just do something.


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