Bored at home? Get involved in local politics

Ray Evans, Opinion Editor

With the state of the world right now, it’s easy to be nihilistic. It’s easy to simply sink into a state of apathy. But the fact that things are so rough right now is precisely why we cannot afford apathy. However, a silver lining of shelter in place is that we may have some free time when you can make a major difference. 

Maybe you aren’t into politics. After all, none of the problems you see will ever be addressed. Politicians are all equally corrupt, so who cares? 

But the winds of change are blowing. The status quo of a mere four years ago is gone, but whether things change for the better or for the worse is still up in the air. As of now, the vast majority of people are disengaged in the current political climate, at most casting a ballot for whichever candidate has a D or an R in front of their name every four years. What happens in this country is currently determined by the relatively small political class, especially the wealthy capitalist class— that is people who own corporations. These people have radically different interests and views than you, and their interests will continue to control our country until a new involvement in politics is reached. And to be clear, this is not another “get out and vote” piece. While voting and electing better politicians is very important, it will only be the start of any real change. Various other strategies are also required. It is important to build protest movements, active unions, and other groups which can apply pressure on our leadership and force change. Electing local officials who support our goals is just one step.

Many of you watch politics, especially at a federal level, because you deeply care about various issues. Maybe you are disillusioned with both the major party presidential candidates—I certainly am— but there are dozens of other races ongoing. Congressional races, state races, local candidates, ballot measures and more that have the potential to massively affect people for better or for worse. On a local level, these may have a greater impact than the presidency. 

You can talk all you want, but now is a perfect time to put your money where your mouth is. One way to do so is phone banking and text banking. This is done by calling or texting potential voters on behalf of a campaign, either to raise awareness and sway the undecided when election day is far off, or to make sure people get to the polls, when the election is imminent. You can sign up to do this for nearly any campaign, and call or text from home. If you are reading this, you are not too young to have an opinion. On the contrary, our generation will inherit this world, so we absolutely have a right and obligation to take a stand for our future direction.