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Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time, and The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear,winner of the 2005 Nautilus Award for the best book on social change. See www.paulloeb.org
(1 comments) Thursday, August 4, 2016 Trust In A Context Of Mistrust: Getting Young Voters To Vote
Young people have an inherent trust in peers who share their sense of the issues and stakes, even if they don't always agree. They trust honest human responses that they don't view as paid for. The more young voters talk with each other, the more likely they are to participate, even if they dislike their choices.
(4 comments) Sunday, June 21, 2015 Why the TPP is Worse than Mystery Meat
Do we trust that the corporations that negotiated these rules have our interests at heart? Whether or not the country-of-origin labeling on meat survives or is ended by the House bill and WTO ruling, TPP plays for far larger stakes, the ground rules that affect our very potential to take common action. The meat bill is one more warning that there are some rules and agreements where we should be careful to eagerly swallow.
(5 comments) Saturday, September 29, 2012 "My Vote Doesn't Matter": Helping Students Surmount Political Cynicism
You've heard it again and again. "My vote doesn't matter," students too often say. Others complain that politicians are "all the same and all corrupt." How do we overcome this cynical resignation and encourage students to register and vote despite their conviction that the game is fundamentally rigged?
(8 comments) Friday, July 22, 2011 Praising the Hostage Takers: Will Obama Ever Hold the Republicans Accountable?
We all need to compromise at some points. That's democracy.The bitter purism of those who stayed home in '10 helped land us in our mess,& if we stay home in 2012 or let others stay home who our volunteer efforts could have otherwise turned out,we'll end up making matters still worse.But endless compromises in the service of regressive policies move us further from the critical changes that we need if we're to create an America
(7 comments) Monday, June 6, 2011 Glued to the Weather Channel While the World Burns
Media coverage rarely connects the unfolding cataclysms with the global climate change that fuels them. As a result, too many Americans still don't know what to believe. The antidote to denial and the forces that promote it is courage, working with our allies and taking action.
(1 comments) Thursday, April 28, 2011 Three Cups of a Flawed Hero: The Limits of Greg Mortenson's Model of Change
It's tempting to expect perfection from those we admire, but we romanticize lone heroes at our peril. A story of unimaginable individual heroism and sacrifice that drew people in could also leave them feeling insignificant in comparison. I believed that Mortenson's books had their limits as models for how ordinary people can create social change.
(6 comments) Thursday, March 3, 2011 Go to Wisconsin, President Obama
It's time to stand with those who are speaking out in a way that can make the choices clear to the distracted and overloaded Americans watching from the sidelines. That doesn't mean you'll own the protests or should. Participants have led with their courage, and you need to make clear that you're not telling them what to do or hijacking their moment, but standing in solidarity and encouraging all Americans to speak out and
(3 comments) Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Ten Reasons Why I'm Spending This Election Day On the Phones
I admit it. 2008 was a whole lot more fun. Even so, I'm going to spend my entire day on the phones today, from when the polls open in Pennsylvania and Illinois to when they close in Washington and Alaska. I hope you'll join me with whatever time you have.
Monday, November 1, 2010 The Party of Non-Voters--Why Our Election Day Volunteering Matters More Than Ever
The Pew Research Center just released a poll contrasting those who intend to vote this round with those likely to stay home. Among all adults, the Democrats or those who leaned Democrat had a 50 to 39 margin. But among those likely to head to the polls, Republicans were up four points. The difference was among non-voters, where the Democrats led by a staggering 24 points, except that these people were likely to stay home.
(2 comments) Friday, October 29, 2010 The Republican War on Reality
Beyond political differences with Obama and the Democrats, Republicans been making war on reality itself, which should be a major issue of the campaign's final days.
(4 comments) Friday, October 29, 2010 The Republican War on Reality
If there's an antidote,it's citizen participation.If enough of us knock on doors,make phone calls,talk to coworkers and neighbors,& otherwise reach out beyond the core converted(or at least get sympathetic voters to the polls), there's a chance that the Everett Dirksens of the Repubs will regain the upper hand.If we're silent,we allow reality itself to become hostage to delusion and country and planet will all pay the price.
(5 comments) Saturday, October 23, 2010 Suppose Your Actions Swung the Election
Also if you happen to know anyone who works on a campus (or if you're on a campus yourself), here's an article that I sent to my educators lists on 45 ways to still get students involved in the election. People have found it very useful, so please do forward it if you're in a position to do so.
(11 comments) Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Stop the Anonymous Hit Men: Make Shadowy Campaign Money the Issue
I've found a way to break through people's cynicism. When I talked about the takeover of our politics by destructive corporate interests, culminating in the barrage of anonymous attack ads unleashed by the Supreme Court's ghastly Citizens United decision, they quickly became willing to listen.
(9 comments) Wednesday, October 6, 2010 Don't Let the Russ Feingolds Go Down For the Sins of the Blanche Lincolns
One-time Obama supporters often lament: "The Democrats have sold us out. I'm tired of their spinelessness. I'm staying home to teach them a lesson." Not everyone responds this way, but enough do to worry me: If these people don't show up and work to get others to vote, it could make the difference. Better to get past our broken hearts and work to elect the best candidates we can. The alternative...
(19 comments) Thursday, September 9, 2010 The Election Needs You, Broken Heart and All
"OK, so your heart's broken," as the old song goes. So's mine. But we have to get over it--now--and start taking action for the November election.