Skip the presidential debate? Do these 10 things instead


If watching the last debate was more damaging than not, you don’t have to ignore the event altogether. Once that’s done, you can log into the news analysis, follow some credible sources on social media like, or you can read articles from a point of sale you trust. You’ll still get the main moments everyone is talking about, and you’ll likely get some useful context for jokes and sound clips. It can help you digest some of the more upsetting times that can happen.

4. Consider becoming a poll worker.

Each state has its own requirements, but if you’re looking for a way to participate in the political process (beyond voting), see if your state still needs more help. According to United States Election Assistance Commission, most election officials are traditionally over 61, which has health implications during the novel coronavirus pandemic. So if you’re feeling inspired, use the time you would normally spend watching the debate instead to explore your options! If your state no longer accepts election volunteers, there are other ways to support. Power at the polls, an organization that aims to get 250,000 Americans to become election workers, is running a campaign (called Pizza at the ballot box) which brings food trucks and take-out meals to the polling stations. (You can donate money in advance, or you can report long lines on polling day and volunteer to make sure food is delivered safely.)

5. Donate time or money to the organization of your choice.

Access to abortion is in danger, law enforcement is killing blacks with impunity, climate change remains a threat and health inequalities are glaring in the face of the new coronavirus pandemic. In short: No matter who wins in November, there are some tough fights ahead. So if there is a particular political issue or cause that you would like to engage more deeply with, look for organizations and resources to do so.

If you are interested in donating to the fight for racial justice, you can find organizations that are already doing impactful work. Or assume that you are specifically interested in access to reproduction. In this case, Fey suggests making a donation to his organization. birth control access fund, which provides birth control methods (and health care visits) to people who may need them. The key here is to focus on the causes that matter to you and to lend your support. Since the debate lasts 90 minutes, that’s a good deal of time you can spend on research and participation.

6. Donate time or money for a political campaign.

If you have a little extra cash to spend, consider dropping a few coins on the political campaign of your choice. This doesn’t just apply to elections that have a direct impact on your life. If you are invested in the results of Senate races across the country, or have deep feelings for a candidate in another city, you can donate to these campaigns as well. And if you’re wondering where your money will go: Applicants have staff, equipment, advertising, event expenses, and travel expenses to deal with, among other (quite expensive) tasks.

7. Call and write to your senators.

“Right now, the Senate is focused on this Supreme Court appointment, but we [at Power to Decide] thinks the Senate should focus on providing health care to everyone, something that is under serious threat, and that includes the Affordable Care Act, ”says Fey. If you are concerned about other concerns, like the Green New Deal, drug reform, or whatever, during the debate you can reach out to state senators and urge them to act in your best interests (you can find their contact details). here).

8. Refine and re-engage your voting plan.

The deadline to register to vote in many states has passed, so I hope you have already. (If not, make sure your state allows for in-person registration on polling day or if they have lenient online / mail registration deadlines.) That said, there are other considerations. If you are voting in person, determine your correct polling station and determine what time you are leaving. You can take advantage of debate night to prepare yourself for everything you need to be able to vote safely on Election Day (or before). And we don’t know who needs to hear this, but if you’ve done your part to get your mail ballot, you still have to fill it out. Sit down Thursday night and fill out the form (then plan to mail it out).

9. Encourage family and friends to think about their voting plan.

If you’ve already consolidated your own voting plan but still want to devote the debate to something political, call a few friends and family to encourage them to vote. Just as you may need to think about the logistics of voting, some of your friends or family may need to do the same. If problems like transportation or childcare arise, you can work out solutions together.

10. Take care of yourself (but commit to voting).

“I already know who I’m voting for,” Sabrina B., 36, told SELF. “So I’m going to do, literally, anything other. “If the other debates have you anxious for the rest of the night, and you don’t need to watch the second to decide your candidate, preserve your sanity by reclaiming your time.” I don’t know if [not watching] Makes me unpatriotic, but at least that will keep me calm, ”says Sabrina.


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