- Involve money or the economy
- Involve the military or foreign policy
- Involve criminal law. state violence or mob violence
If the answer to all of the above is no, it’s probably a bullshit issue that’s being used to distract you. Even if it does involve one of the above it may still be a relatively small issue that shouldn’t be prioritised, but at least it’s somewhat important.
This is not a plea for crude economism. For example, the right of trans people to access bathrooms is absolutely an issue, because it involves criminal law and violence. Immigration? Absolutely worth talking about under points 1 & 3. Racist policing? Absolutely worth addressing.
On the other hand, some idiot celebrity saying dumbshit on Twitter? Almost certainly not an issue. Arguments over Starbucks saying happy holidays rather than Merry Christmas? Not an issue. Trump looking like an idiot? Amusing, but not a real issue. Casting for a movie? Not an issue.
There are exceptions. Same-sex marriage was, I think, an important fight to win, even though the connection to any of those criteria is somewhat tenuous. An argument can be made that it involved 1, given the economic rights afforded to married couples, but even if these economic had been fully equivalent I still think the campaign would have been important.
Nonetheless, you should start to get suspicious if an issue doesn’t tick one or more of those criteria.