Politics Needs You!

A friend of mine just said this to me:

Politics is too dirty and I’m not sure I’m willing to jump into that sort of mess.

There’s a lot of jerks in politics. The jerks make it unpleasant. So good people stay out of politics because of the unpleasantness.

That creates one rather big problem. If the jerks drive the good people out of politics, then who is left in charge?

So to all the people who stay out of politics because it’s too dirty, messy, nasty, unpleasant, etc., I say this:

It’s your fault.

We live in a democracy. Citizens in a democracy have a duty to get involved, to be a part of the political process.

If you get involved, and get your friends involved, then the good people will eventually drive out the jerks. Don’t let them drive you out by being nasty.

5 comments to Politics Needs You!

  • Maybe. It depends. If the person can be a transformational political figure, I agree. If the person would make more of an impact in another field, I disagree. Chances are it isn’t clear which discrete category most people fit into, so who knows.

    Also, there’s a quality of life factor that must not be overlooked. Having to deal with the election time attacks (amongst other attacks) is not necessarily pleasant. Certainly, being attacked may be a form of a compliment, but it is one that is less than appealing. So, getting involved with politics is quite a selfless act (assuming it is done with altruistic intentions). Can one really be blamed for wanting to live a normal life, free from dirty political attacks?

    [Well, maybe it isn't selfless. The pay isn't bad. The hours are quite flexible. The minimum workload is light. Job security isn't an issue except for one day every few years. Still, the dirty nature of politics is not something the average person would want to endure.]

    Beyond that, it might just be a very unfulfilling career choice. If none of the objectives of the elected official are met, regardless of attacks, then what was the point?

  • rob assumes that getting involved means being a candidate. There’s plenty you can do without going that far.

  • True. The trick is to then find the real altruistic politician(s).

    Short of being actively involved on a daily basis, letter writing can be done (even though I question how useful that ends up being), people can vote, opinions can be expressed to friends and neighbors, and other such things. There’s nothing wrong with those things and I would encourage everyone to be at least that involved with the political process.

  • Politics is more than candidates and elections (though that is a big part). Just go to meetings. Pay attention. Read what’s going on. Talk to your friends about it.

    Another thing – you can organize people with similar concerns. Form a neighborhood association. Ooh, how about helping build a community website – I know one Rob can work on. :-)

    Learn more about the system. Check out websites like opensecrets.org or votesmart.org. There are so many. Learn about third parties.

    Politics is far broader than Rob is giving it credit for.

  • It’s true. If you don’t make your voice heard in some way, it won’t get heard. If you don’t vote, pay attention to local politics, say something to a friend or family member, get them to vote, and even try to figure out how to help support local candidates who agree with your ideals…then you are part of the problem. Even if your involvement is as little as telling your family your ideas, putting a sign on your lawn, and voting — that’s more than some.

    We need more people to openly display and discuss their opinions. We need people who are passionate and ready to fight for the good of our nation. We need more of these people.