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
- that you’ll get to know the influencers and thought leaders in your community,
- that you’ll find out what the issues your community really care about are,
- 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,
- 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…