To save the nation, we can’t forget self care

5 mins read
The Carters' holiday gift to the White House staff during the first holidays of President Carter’s term (1977). Courtesy of the author.

I’ve been looking forward to saying a final goodbye to my old career early in the new year, and to focusing on building a new business.  I’ve also been excited about being a part of DemCast in 2020, and working with a team of dedicated patriots to restore our country to the moral, ethical, diverse and caring place the US has for decades represented to the world.  I believe that in the new year patriots must focus on who we, as Americans, are and what we stand for, while always keeping compassion in the foreground of our actions.

But life often has a way of making us rethink our priorities.  A few days ago, someone very close to me had a stroke. I’m not going to claim that I had a life-altering revelation, but it did serve to remind me that life is constantly changing. For the next several weeks, everything I’d planned to do must take a back seat to helping her through this crisis. But a change in priorities doesn’t mean I will step away from all that needs to be done in the new year.

We are in a fight for the soul of America, and while I have a great deal of respect for Michelle Obama, her words that when “they go low, we go high”, may not be the best way to approach the 2020 contests. It is imperative that we do everything we can to hold onto the House, flip the Senate and take the White House.

I think we can do that without sinking to the level of the other side.  When they lie, we should combat that by proclaiming the truth loudly. While they are calling immigrants criminals, we should be making sure the public knows that they are still separating families, putting children in cages, and adopting out children who have been stolen from their parents. When they deny climate change, we can counter that with science, publishing facts, photos and statistics that show reality.  The resistance needs poets and songwriters almost as much as it needs activists in the streets. In previous times of crisis these were the people who united us.  

We may never be able to convince the right-wing base, but they are still a minority.  In 2020 we must be the adults. Democratic activists must stop getting distracted by the other side’s craziness and manipulation. It’s imperative that we refrain from providing the Republicans with talking points to use against our eventual nominee.  I believe we should focus on the positives our candidates offer, like honesty, integrity, patriotism and ethics. Democrats need to campaign on real, explainable programs, not pie-in-the-sky promises.  

My friend’s illness reminded me that in the new year we need to prioritize our health, both physical and mental.  If we let the president and his cohorts create stress in our lives, they are winning. We need to take time for self-care, for our families and friends, for our pets and our community.  The next year is going to be challenging, but if we each work on balancing our lives, responding with honesty and compassion, and doing whatever we realistically can to contribute to the effort, I believe we will save our nation.

As I told my friend today, life is hard and sometimes it’s unfair, but we are strong and with help we can overcome anything. My hope is that on this day next year we will celebrate the election of a new, more compassionate, government. We will still need to be activists and agents of change, but I dream of a day for our country and my friend, when we are once again looking forward to a brighter future.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Mindy Schwartz is a blogger, life-long political activist, wife, daughter, dogmom, DemCast USA Content Director and Jew. She is equally proud of all of those roles.

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