2020 has been an extremely disturbing year for people who are concerned about the nation’s political process. Authoritarian ideology that has never before experienced in the United States is becoming increasingly normalized. An elected leader is openly attempting to thwart a fair election by failing to act on intelligence information, casting doubt on the veracity of election findings, and obstructing mail service. He has even gone so far as to claim that the only way that he loses is if it’s “rigged.” Clearly, the stakes have never been higher in the electoral process. Younger people are at risk of losing faith in what their role should be and how they should be represented. It’s incumbent upon them, however, to rise to the challenges presented by this unprecedented threat to democracy. Here are some important things that you can do to be a part of positive and critical change.
Become Politically Active
Being involved in politics doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to run for office, but you need to learn the dynamics of organizing and campaigning. Consider a career as a political strategist; help ensure that the electoral process remains fair. Gain the platform that you need to help get the right individuals elected into office. Check out a career in history so your guidance and studies are informed by logic, reason, and historical fact.
Demand Party Accountability
Instead of publishing a platform as has always been done every election year, the GOP has published a one-page resolution pledging unconditional loyalty to a single person. It is a shocking degradation of the party’s identity that has been characterized as cult-like by many commentators. They have turned a blind eye to pathological lying, the unwillingness to appoint competent administrators, and a failure to respond to a global catastrophe that resulted in the needless suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Every representative must be made accountable by their constituency. Get in touch with elected officials; let them know why their support of this conduct is not consistent with their individual oaths of office.
One of the most troubling aspects of the events of 2020 is that failed leadership has disseminated continual falsehoods to such an extent that it is as though people are living in two separate realities. However, while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no one is entitled to their own set of facts. Talk to the people who you know who are confused about what’s happening. Show them resources for reliable news. Help them stay engaged with what’s important and why it’s important.
Historically, leaders are held accountable for what they do and what they say. Don’t become disheartened by what’s happening; interpret it as a call to action. Consider what you can do in your individual capacity, communicate with elected officials, and keep an open dialog with people who need help. Above all else, vote; make sure that everyone who you care about is registered to vote and participates in bringing about change.