It might be Christmas Eve right now at your house, or Hanukkah could be already underway, but it’s not too late to give last-minute gifts of concerned citizenship — patriotism — to your friends and loved ones. Just go on line, click on one of the charities, news organizations and activist organizations below, and subscribe or make a donation in your friend’s honor.
Patriotism. For me and for my friends in red states and blue, patriotism means being stubbornly loyal to the American project and the ideals it’s been striving toward since the constitution was signed in 1787.
It means believing in self-government, the rule of law, justice, equal opportunity, civil liberties and public education. It means keeping those spacious skies spacious and those purple mountain majesties purple. It means freedom of speech, religion and the press.
I hope you will join me in giving friends and family the gift of a United States of America that’s good to go for another 227 years.
Here’s my list of patriotic last-minute gifts. It includes charities, businesses and political action groups. Some contributions are tax deductible, some not. The entries lean toward a progressive point of view, but most of them will make great patriotic gifts for everyone on your holiday list, whatever their political persuasion.
If there’s another charity or activist organization that’s a better fit for you, go for it. And let us know with a comment.
Last-Minute Gifts: Healthy Media and Real Journalism
- The New York Times — Support investigative journalism. Give an online subscription, or maybe the Sunday Times, home delivered.
- The Washington Post — Give a subscription. Take serious journalism seriously.
- Local Newspapers — Consider giving home delivery or an online subscription to an area newspaper — think local.
- National Public Radio — I go to NPR to remind myself of what civil discourse sounds like.
- Public Broadcasting Service — Masterpiece, of course. But also the PBS NewsHour, for reliable news Monday through Friday.
- The Newseum — The interactive museum in Washington, D.C., defends the First Amendment’s five freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
- The Religion News Foundation — advancing religious literacy with programs for religion journalists and the public. A hot and often misunderstood topic these days.
- The Wayback Machine — The Internet Archive is a non-profit library aiming to preserve online data and “give everyone free and universal access to all knowledge, forever.” According to MSNBC news commentator Rachel Maddow, the Wayback has captured posts by bad actors who’ve tried to expunge their incriminating sites.
More Patriotic Holiday Gifts — A Starter List
- American Civil Liberties Union — Ready to take on civil liberties violations.
- Earth Justice — Protecting wilderness and a healthy environment.
- National Organization for Women — Protecting the rights of women and girls.
- Our Children’s Trust — Youth advocating for a healthy Earth.
- Planned Parenthood — Education, activism, health care for women.
- Southern Poverty Law Center — Seeking justice for the most vulnerable Americans.
More about the worrisome political climate facing America at “Why I’ve Decided to Stop Bad-Mouthing Donald Trump.” And, on the light side, a lesson in circuitous rhetoric from a preschooler at “The (Two-Year-Old) Rhetorician at Our House.”