| SIX WAYS FOR REPUBLICANS TO SHAKE OFF THE POST-ELECTION FUNK AND FEEL BETTER IN TWO MONTHS
Let's face it, we're all in a funk. I have come up with a therapy plan for the next 60 days. It's a combination of detox, invigoration, and enlightenment.
1. Turn off right wing media.
Take 60 days off from radio, television, and right-wing blogs. In that period, if you feel the need to keep up with the world, read The Christian Science Monitor. (It's actually not a religious publication at all and it one of the best sources of domestic/international news in the world.) It's motto is: "To injure no man, but bless all mankind." That's what we need right about now.
You will discover that by not listening to these voices, your blood pressure will go down, you will be slower to get upset or anxious, and you will no longer be using the words and arguments that they use. (I am serious - I can tell what someone consumes after listening to them for half an hour.)
2. Make changes in your social networks.
Go through the people you follow in all your networks. Disconnect yourselves from all those people who are loud or self-righteous or angry or who just don't give you anything you need. Also, consider following some good government organizations or some people who you think will improve, not contaminate, your political citizenship. Maybe it is time to follow a few people with opposing points of view. There are reasonable people on the other side. They should have a small place in your feed.
Whether its running, biking, swimming, or something else - get out there and sweat a little. But while you're out there, consider listening to some fun classes! (More on that below.)
4. Stop by your place of worship
No matter what religion you are, or even if you have none, go back to the place where you learn to put First Things first. Time there may help wash away some of the angst and confusion that politics can bring.
5. Do some simple, no-commitment community service
Politics is supposed to be about improving society. Many of you have worked hard for candidates who didn't win and therefore can't improve it from the office. Find some low-context community service to do - like dropping in at a food kitchen or making sandwiches at a shelter. Just find out where you can spend half a Saturday.
6. Rebuild your political citizenship with some high-quality learning
We take in so much garbage being political nerds! Most of what we inhale is opinion and analysis. These are the empty calories of our information diets. Once you've detoxified yourself, consider some high-quality "foods"! History is a great way to re-build. There are many great books, but I prefer the college lectures of The Teaching Company. Their stuff is in many libraries or is available online. (www.teach12.com) There is MP3, CD, and DVD.
I would recommend listening to them while exercising! I have done this with many classes. Since there is no homework, you don't have to worry about listening carefully every second.
Some recommendations for rebuilding your citizenship that I have listened to myself and can vouch for being excellent:
The History of the United States (42 hours - but an incredible journey)
Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the U.S. Constitution (6 hours)
American Ideals: Founding a "Republic of Virtue" (6 hours)
There is also one extraordinary economics class that will change your view of our system and our foreign policy:
Why Economies Rise or Fall (12 hours)
Lastly, two more challenging but very rewarding classes:
Thinking About Capitalism (18 hours)
The Conservative Tradition (18 hours)
This may all seem like a lot to do, but it really isn't, especially if you listen while exercising. And you won't be spending 10 hours a week on right-wing media anymore, right?
After two months of this, I am sure you'll feel a lot better, and if you listen to some of the classes, you will feel different about America and politics - and a stronger Republican.