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Flagging Patriotic Solutions

November 5th, 2020 by dk

If you’re a liberal living among other liberals, what actions can you take to help the nation reach a better place? Your vote probably won’t make any difference, because a landslide doesn’t make the winner any winnier. You should still vote,  if only to keep up the habit, but it’s a little like brushing your teeth before your dentist appointment. It’s not likely to make any immediate change, but it’s still the right thing to do.

You could volunteer to place door-hangers in neighborhoods that you otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. (I buy things on craigslist for this purpose. I constantly discover diversity is closer than I thought.) If walking among strangers is not your thing, try just hanging out near the gun sales counter at Bi-Mart or any sporting goods store. You’ll hear things you don’t normally hear.

Phone banking is another option. Technology can connect volunteers with campaigns in vulnerable swing states or swing districts. This is an especially good fit for those who have moved away, but still retain a distinctive accent. Undecided voters in battleground states don’t welcome calls from people who don’t sound like they live down the block.

Giving money is the go-to option for many people who consider themselves activists, but don’t know where or how they can be active. Money might sway an election, somewhere, somehow. Your donation to some far-away campaign could tip the balance — that’s certainly what they will tell you — but it’s getting hard to find a competitive campaign that isn’t already flush with cash and freely outspending their conservative opponent.

With so few undecided voters in an ever more polarized political landscape, it seems like there are no good options available to a good-hearted liberal who wants to genuinely “make America better again,” if not actually great. The voting will soon be over, even if the election itself drags on for weeks or months.

I recommend instead that you look beyond the election. We’ve certainly seen enough already to know that our nation will need some TLC after this campaign is completely over. Here are two ideas for you.

Two San Francisco women started a movement that has taken hold in larger cities, but hasn’t hit Eugene yet. They pair willing hosts with interested strangers to share a meal and conversation together. It’s called “Make America Dinner Again.” Their website is worth a visit, but the concept is simple enough.

Adapting the “conversation with strangers” concept to current COVID-19 restrictions might take some work, but it’s a worthy venture. However we come back together, civil conversation will be required.

Here’s an idea that doesn’t require talking to strangers. Go down to your corner store and buy an American flag. Buy some Stars & Stripes decals for your car and living room windows. I haven’t checked, but Hirons probably sells flag buttons that you can wear. They go with everything.

We need liberals who are willing to fly Old Glory. We can’t allow one side of the political spectrum to claim our flag as their own. That’s not good for anyone. 


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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