In this crazy, mixed up world where Donald Trump can claim that Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia to harm her own campaign as a means to explain his innocence we need to find solid footing more than ever. We need to find that tribe of people who connect with our beliefs and our passions in order to feel that we belong to this larger universe. You need to find your tribe.
What do you are about? What makes your heart sing? What makes you smile to get up in the morning and see the possible? Take stock of these things to find your tribe.
It is important to be part of something larger when engaging with your elected representatives because it gives your message staying power. If you correspond with them as a member of an organization that has individuals testifying or is providing lobbying materials on behalf of an issue it resonates. There is a reason why the AARP gets its message heard. When thousands of people call and tell their representatives that the issue is important to members of AARP that legislative agenda gets traction.
Consider the power we can wield. When Trump, goaded by the Utah congressional delegation and local state politicians including the governor, announced his intention to review more than a dozen monuments declared under several prior presidential administrations the outdoor community howled. Better yet progressive outdoor companies led by Patagonia and followed quickly by Arc’teryx, Polartec, and Peak Designs among others made it very clear that they would not participate in the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer convention that took place in Salt Lake City.
By July 2017, less than five months after the actions by the outdoor community, Outdoor Retailer announced it would be moving its convention to Denver. Numbers are hard to come by and notoriously unreliable, but most accounts attribute upwards of $45 million dollars in spending due to the presence of Outdoor Retailer. I do not care how right wing your politics run $45 million is a lot of money getting pumped into the local economy.
Why did this happen? Outdoor advocates and companies banded together in a coherent way to make it known they would not stand for the wonton giveaway of our public lands to moneyed interests. This is the power of our tribes.
This is something that the right wing has understood for years with organizations like the NRA. Very few members of the NRA actually espouse the virulent views of its leadership but they are counted among the faithful when it comes time to apply political pressure. We can apply the same level of political pressure on behalf of our causes.
Be active in your tribe. Be unforgiving in your defense of your tribe. Be passionate about your tribe.
If you happen to be one of those people so dispossessed and apathetic that there is nothing for which you would man the barricades may whatever god have mercy on your soul.