The Problem with Freedom

How to protect our decrepit democracy


True facts

During this episode, we talked about what we needed to do to shore up our democracy and protect ourselves from waking up one day to find ourselves living under authoritarian rule. Turns out the best ways are to make sure the entire country is, as much as possible, operating off the same set of facts. And ideally they’re the true kinds of facts, not the ones that a random dude named “Q” disseminates from the ickiest corner of the internet. The other is… drum roll, please … to vote and make sure other people vote, too.

Fighting misinformation

When it comes to protecting the truth, ideally we’d all throw our phones into the sea (Note: AppleCare does not recommend) and only read news created by independent journalists on old-fashioned paper. Short of that, the best thing we can do is to fight for strong regulations on social media platforms and to vigorously defend journalism. Here are a few of the organizations fighting on these fronts to get you started:

Committee to Protect Journalists

Freedom House

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Fight for your right to vote

One of the most fundamental ways we can be engaged in our democracy is to vote. We’re surely not the first to tell you voting matters, but there’s a reason people keep harping on it: It’s fuuuuuucking vital. Securing voting rights is mostly a long, wonky, unsexy process that’s done on a local level. But guess who needs help? Your community.

So harness your inner Stacey Abrams and get to work. Join a get-out-the-vote effort in your area, find a group in your state that’s trying to fight voter suppression, or volunteer as a poll worker. Posting an “I Voted” selfie is great, but an “I kicked voter suppression’s racist ass to the curb” picture is really impressive.

There are several organizations out there working to address both voter suppression and voter participation, and they’re a great place to start.

Fair Fight

Rock the Vote

Brennan Center for Justice