Take a Stand: Steps to Getting Politically Active
Regardless of your political views, it’s important to be an active participant in the political process for several reasons. Of course, the purist form of activism is simply heading to your local voting location and voting for the candidates you support. But not to be dismissed are the advantages of being politically active above and beyond simply voting. One is being able to inform yourself more on the candidates and issues. Another is making sure that those you interact with are educated on those issues as well.
Interact with Those Already in Office
Being politically active goes well past Election Day. Learn who currently holds office locally and nationally and how to contact them so that your views are heard. Although contacting those who serve in Washington via a variety of means can result in a number of benefits, some of the most effective ways to do so is by calling their local office and showing up to town hall meetings. For local officeholders, it will most likely be easier to have your individual voice heard. This can generally be done by phone, letter, online or by attending a City Council or school board meeting.
This can be done at any time although it is understandably done more often in the lead-up to Election Day. In fact, this is one of the best things that those in a 55+ community can do to lead active lives. Of course, if you can find many with your views, it’s easier to mobilize, but do listen to those with differing views to see if you can find some common ground and work together.
Be a Helper
You don’t have to be a leader. Contact those who are already in office or who are attempting to be in office and find out what you can do to help. You can also contact a specific political party and help that organization in general.
Continue to educate yourself through trusted media sources. What you define as trusted may depend on a number of factors with so many having differing views of what “fake news” is, but do your due diligence to find ones that you trust and that won’t simply be repeating things that you believe in. It’s important to understand the other side.
Remember the Locals
Although the vast majority of the focus, from mainstream media and people in general, goes toward the presidential election, who gets elected as president actually impacts us on a day-to-day basis less than who is elected to local office. These are the individuals who create and change the laws that local police officers and court systems enforce and who decides on where local money goes.