Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

The world we live in is inherently political, and whether we wish to accept it or not, it will remain as such. From the country you live in to the community you reside, politics surrounds you. Now the reason I say this, besides it being true, is because it means that your actions have an impact on the world of politics. The most notable way of political participation is voting, but there are many more avenues you can travel down in terms of participation. In further detailing methods of participation within the field of politics, I hope to teach, unravel and provide a lesson in politics.

The ability to participate in politics — let alone my right to talk about it — comes down to the important principle of political freedom. One of the things that makes our country so exceptional is our extensive political freedom and the conversations able to be conducted because of it. In contrast to the United States, countries like Syria and North Korea essentially have no political freedoms available to their citizens.

The first and most important lesson in politics is that without political freedom — which is built into our founding documents and luckily much of the developed nations of the world — we could look much like those aforementioned countries. There would be no politicians, only monarchs, dictators and a totalitarian way of governance. There would be no right to assemble or protest, no freedom of speech and certainly no freedom of the press or religion.

Our system has its flaws, but we are beyond lucky to have been born in this kind of nation. Living in this kind of country requires maintenance to ensure the same standard and more for future generations. It requires ensuring that you go out and vote, not just for the president but for the senators, representatives, state officials and municipal officials.

The individuals that will impact your lives the most are those closest to you in terms of government, meaning your mayors, council people, commissioners and school board directors. There is much more than just voting, like aiding candidates campaign efforts. By directly involving yourself in campaigns, you can further influence those that will represent you. Don’t just stop there; work to get others to vote and for them to also get involved. The more participation in elections, the more representation is ensured, and the more power everyone has in government and the actions it pursues.

More ways to get involved in politics that go beyond just volunteering can even be made into a career. You can run for office yourself, become a lobbyist, get paid as a campaign manager, become a part of the bureaucracy that finalizes the laws and implements them, become a lawyer or a judge or even become one of the many advisors that help influence and write the content of the bills brought up to become laws.

Overall, there are many opportunities available to participate and ensure that the political freedoms within the United States are upheld. It is important to ensure that we all acknowledge what we already have and move to maintain and expand it in necessary areas. Stay updated on what is occurring in the political world by seeing the bills your legislators are promoting and voting for. Take time to write your representatives to tell them how you feel and what bills you support or disagree with. Attend town halls and pose questions because at the end of the day, you are their constituent.

Whatever method you choose, participate and take the action needed to ensure your voice is heard, even in something as seemingly small as the student government at your school.

Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership.

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