In an earlier post, I stated that what I want to hear come out of the next President’s inaugural address is that the Era of Fear is over, that warrantless spying would stop, that the government would be accountable, that color-coded fear-mongering would cease. More than one commenter said they liked the idea of a speech like that. So here’s my question: how do we make it happen?

Is this where we start writing to representatives? Challengers? Organize a PAC? Organize a think-tank and start producing policy papers? Organize a magazine? A march? Draft a candidate? Start a movement for a third party?

I honestly don’t know, and I honestly ask.

The thing is, I can talk about it all day long on the webbertrons. All. Day. Long. But while I know many people who read blogs, almost none of them do not also have a blog of their own. The Left is just as much a victim of the echo-chamber effect as the Right, and so while I think a lot of valuable position-taking and point-making and philosophizing happens online, I find it very hard to believe that a good idea is going to spring forth from one clever turn of phrase on a blog somewhere and launch itself into the overall discourse. If we want to effect real change in the political climate, change meant to bring about a better, more hopeful environment in which new ideas can grow and flourish, we have to get out of our chairs and do something.

And I am not, right now, doing anything. Yeah, I donated a little money to a few candidates I liked in 2004. I guess that counts, but I have trouble believing PayPal will be the lever I use to move the world.

So what do we do?

The thing is, doing is hard. We are quick to criticize the 101st Flying Keyboardists, but doing so hardly requires us to leave the comfort of our own executive-style office chairs, does it? I can talk online all day. I can talk offline all day. My mother and I spent her Mother’s Day call railing against the war and Bush and the Right in general – meaning the lasting legacy of the Bush Administration may well be his having cemented my parents’ position as slightly-left-of-center evangelicals – but neither one of us has the stones to ring up her sister, who believes Bush is the only thing that stands between Satanic brown-skinned terr’ists and her underwear drawer.

And so I ask, utterly without irony or rhetorical intent, what do we do to create change? Because if we’re going to, we need to get on the stick.