2018 sucked — How do I get into politics?

Thomas Brown
4 min readNov 30, 2018

I’ve been involved in electoral politics for ten years. I have heard from countless people over the years that they could do better than the people in office, and I always tell them to do so, run for office. It is way easier than you think. (As all writers are by nature, and usually nurture, lazy like a river, I’m writing this in advance of repeating that conversation over and over again in 2019 — the path of least resistance in 21st century dialogue: “I wrote a series on this. Here’s the link.”)

If you want to be a politician, it’s simple — run for office. There’s no prerequisite. If people like Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have done anything to our politics they have proven that literally anybody can be a politician. Go to the division of elections website for your state, county, city, etc.; there will probably be a fee, definitely a form. It’s that simple to get started. Getting elected is a whole different question (as is actually governing).

It may be a cliche but all politics is local. You need to talk to people. One word: volunteer. Attend your local community council meetings (or your local equivalent), get active in your union, attend church, join groups like Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary; go to charity events; attend activism meetings on issues you care about (whether it’s Black Lives Matter, Pro-Life, 2nd Amendment, LGBT, whatever); meet the people who make decisions and the ones engaged in (and spend lots of money in) your community. You’re doing this so

  1. that you’ll get to know the influencers and thought leaders in your community,
  2. that you’ll find out what the issues your community really care about are,
  3. that the people who make decisions, the people engaged, the thought leaders, the ones who spend money on politics, and the influencers will get to know you,
  4. you can comply with the law as, depending where you are and/or the position, it may be necessary to have to collect physical signatures to even get on the ballot — having face time with…