Ways to be Politically Active

Unfortunately, because of weather, I was not able to attend this year’s Women’s March. I was a little bummed about it, but mostly, I was relieved. Don’t get me wrong, I love marches. I love the idea behind them and I believe that they accomplish very good things. What I don’t love is the people that show up to marches and then don’t do anything to further legislation for their causes. People can march all they want, but unless they back up the marching with real political involvement, it essentially means nothing. So I guess this article is mostly about the importance of political involvement and my frustrations with the lack of it.

Many young people today feel that there is no way for them to be involved in government, especially at the federal level. Many feel that their votes don’t count, or that their voices won’t be heard. The current political climate has made young people feel like they don’t matter and that they could never understand just how deep the politics of this country go. But the truth is, if young people don’t start participating in politics, our voices will never be heard. So how do we get involved?

One of the most important things that a young person can do is register to vote. Believe me, I don’t like the system and believe that it is majorly flawed. I don’t believe in a two-party system and I think the electoral college is one of the worst things to happen to national elections. Despite this, I still vote. Why? The women that came before me fought hard for this right to vote. Black people all over this country have fought for the right to vote. Immigrants have fought for the right to vote. And there are people in this political system that still do not have that right. So I’ll be damned if I waste my chance to make my voice heard. Voting is the one thing that citizens in this country are guaranteed. Do it, even if you don’t think your voice will be heard. What if it is?

Another way to get involved? Work or volunteer for a campaign. It could be a local campaign, a statewide campaign, or a federal campaign. People campaigning always need help in some way or another. Spread the platform of the person campaigning, put up signs, attend rallies.

One of the best ways to be involved is to call your congressman! Most times, they are happy to hear from their constituents. Call when there is a bill passed that you don’t agree with, call when you are happy with the job your congressman is doing. Start a letter writing campaign to let your congressman know that you are not the only one with concerns about decisions being made in congress. It can’t hurt to let your congressman know what you think of the job that they are doing.

More important than anything is research. Do your own research on candidates, even at the local level. Know what their political platforms are. Know their backgrounds. What do they promise to do for the country? So many young people today vote for whoever their parents voted for, without doing any research. Formulate your own opinions. Vote for who you want to vote for, but don’t do it without knowing what the candidate stands for.

Political participation is so important. Even if you don’t think participation is worth it, do it anyway.