Tulsa Trump
Governor-elect Kevin Stitt celebrates his election-night victory Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Michael Duncan)

Sure, the recent midterm elections were a win for progressive, forward-thinking Americans. You voted. You posted pictures of yourselves with your “I Voted” stickers on social media. Good for you, but it’s not enough.

We’ve come to rely on gestures rather than meaningful action. A vast majority of us have become a civilization of lip service instead of real service. You know who I’m talking about: It’s those who offer “thoughts and prayers” but don’t try to change things. It’s people who are only good Christians on Sunday. There are those who take to any social media platform and post in one or two sentences how honored or humbled they are while spending the remaining four and a-half paragraphs of their essay bragging about themselves and making sure everyone is up to date with ALL their latest “accomplishments.”

For these “fine” folks, the semblance of doing good or being a good person is enough. It may be enough to help them sleep at night, but it’s not enough to make a palpable difference. Activism has been replaced by narcissism.

No time for hopelessness

We don’t need “armchair decency” or “armchair activism.” We need put-up-or-shut-up people. Life’s not a game, but there is a game clock — and it’s always running. You’ve got to be a part of something. If you’re not part of something, you’re part of the problem.

Give money. Give time. Give a damn.

If you’re reading this, you can probably file it under “preaching to the choir,” but being responsible and accountable isn’t just about doing so for others. It’s also about yourself. Making yourself a more well-rounded individual is vital. Read a book, watch the news, listen to podcasts, read a respected journalism publication.

With the election of Kevin Stitt (or Tulsa Trump, as I unaffectionately call him), a progressive’s outlook on Oklahoma’s future might be justifiably dim. Hell is where you make it, but also where it makes you. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for hopelessness.

Hard-nosed civic mindedness is the only thing that can pull this state, kicking and screaming, through the reign of Tulsa Trump. In the immortal words of Captain Jimmy Wilder, “Let’s kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy.”

Support people, entities and groups who actually better the community. Groups like Free Mom Hugs, businesses like Curbside Chronicle (and NonDoc!), organizations like Let’s Fix This and Generation Citizen, and nonprofit media like The Frontier and Oklahoma Watch.

To achieve a better life for our friends, neighbors, state and country, it will take both purpose and passion. Our purpose must be progress, and our passion must be people. Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to one of our country’s greatest Republicans:

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” — Theodore Roosevelt