Once a month, on a Sunday afternoon, I knock on the front door of a woman’s home and am welcomed inside for a couple hours of group conversation, laughter, and conspiring. As we sit around tables crammed with snacks, often with glasses of wine in our hands, we plan the following month’s activities—door-knocking for a local political candidate, a postcard-writing session at a nearby coffee house.
We cheekily call ourselves Running the Resistance, a nod to the common love of running that brought us together initially and our desire to resist the forces of complacency and division. From the group’s origins almost eighteen months ago, we have been guided by a spirit of improvisation.
For many people in our country, the 2016 election awakened a spirit of action and a desire to serve. I realized that I’d been treating democracy as a spectator sport instead of what it is: people with varying perspectives making their voices heard, articulating a vision, and taking steps to help America be the “more perfect union” that rings forth from our country’s founding documents, yet often seems so remote and unattainable.
I contacted a few friends to see if they wanted to join me in forming a group to do . . . what, exactly? I didn’t even know what I was asking them to sign on to...