As the 2018 Midterm Elections approach, many may wonder what they can do to make sure their voice gets heard. While it may seem daunting to get involved in politics, the Conservative Nut has compiled a list of ten things you can do to help with American Democracy.
1) Learn the Issues. This is one of the things that is so elementary to democracy, yet many people overlook. How can anyone make an informed decision without knowing their choices? There are many ways to learn about the issues, from reading the news (a list of reliable news sources can be found here), to using the internet for more in-depth research about the issues. Leading up to the election, the Conservative Nut will write about certain political issues and candidates to help voters make informed decisions.
2) Talk about politics. After all, we do have freedom of speech. Ask your friends what they think about a certain issue. If they do not know about it, inform them! A more educated populace is a more powerful populace. Remember, your voice matters, and the only way people will hear your voice is by talking.
3) Don’t forget the local issues. After all, those are the issues that impact you the most. While it may be easy to get caught up in the big and flashy congressional and gubernatorial elections, often, those are not the elections that will impact you the most. From issues such as a local tax hike to build a new stadium, to deciding between school board candidates who will make decisions on how your children will be educated, local issues are usually the most important.
4) Protest an issue- Peacefully. If you feel discontent about a certain issue, do not feel a need to keep quiet. In the United States of America, citizens have a right to peaceful protest. However, it is important to keep your protest peaceful, as violent protest will lead to the destruction of property, injury, and even death. Furthermore, peaceful protest just works better. Just ask Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. if you need proof.
5) Donate. If you have the resources, consider donating to a candidate or to an action group supporting an issue you feel passionate about. Political campaigns are expensive to run, and often times, the side that raises the most money wins the election.
6) Volunteer. Political campaigns are always in need of help, and it is a lot easier than you may think. Phonebanking is an example of something you can do to contribute. You work on your own schedule, and all you need is a working telephone. Be sure to contact your local candidate or action group if you believe you can contribute to their cause.
7) Most importantly: Vote! It is impossible to stress the importance of voting. That is how your voice is heard. It doesn’t matter if you did everything above if you don’t vote, and there is genuinely no excuse not to vote. It is always possible to vote by mail if you are unable to make it to your local polling place on election day, and if that isn’t a possibility, you can vote early in person to avoid the lines. Voting is the single most important thing you can do as a citizen in a democracy. Your local election office can provide any information you may need, from your polling location to requesting a mail ballot.
10) Vote. Again, it is impossible to stress the importance of this. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just vote and let your voice be heard.
While politics may seem daunting at first, there are many ways for a concerned citizen to get involved in the democratic process. After all, you elect representatives to serve you, and it is your job to ensure they are adequately representing your interests. You should never feel like your voice is being ignored because you matter. That is the beauty of American Democracy; every citizen has an equal voice in making sure the issues they care about get acted upon. Happy election season, and we hope you decide to get involved!