Easy ways to be politically involved


Protesting is also a way to let the government hear your voice. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Angela Mammel, Copy Editor

From the shots that rang out recently over a Las Vegas music festival to people struggling to survive in the aftermath of recent hurricanes, seemingly everywhere you look these days is tinted with tragedy. Juggling the struggles of everyday life on top of constantly hearing this bad news can be exhausting and overwhelming, leading many Americans to become desensitized to these horrors. Although thoughts and prayers are frequently sent out by the public in the event of yet another tragedy, these can seem half hearted and even apathetic. Now more than ever, it is important to remain active citizens of this nation and look out for the less fortunate in any way possible. There are countless ways to do this, but here are some of the easiest.

Donate. Something that I personally feel guilty of is that we live right in Flint’s backyard, and although they have struggled with not having access to clean water for years, I have done little to help them. I’m definitely going to donate and see whatever else I can do to help soon, and if there’s a nagging issue in the nation that you could help with but haven’t yet, I’d suggest doing the same! Donate your money, your time, or your resources to show your fellow Americans that you have their back whenever they’re struggling. Even if you can’t donate or help too much, it takes a village to accomplish any goal, so any little bit counts. Even the desire to help shows the American spirit, and that’s something that we need much more of in our country these days.

Call your senators. Seriously, do it. Although most of us are too young to vote, we can still remain active in letting our senators hear our voices about certain issues that directly impact us. Tell them if they’re ignoring a pressing issue that you think they should focus on, tell them that you hope they stand with your opinion in certain situations, or even tell them that they’ve been representing you well recently. 5calls.com is a really helpful website that connects you with your senators, as well as issues that you may want to bring up over the phone. And even if you feel too shy or awkward to know what to say, 5calls provides you with scripts that convey your message clearly and briefly to make it as easy for you as possible. If you get too anxious about making phone calls in general, you can use an app called Stance to record a message to your representatives that will go straight to their voicemail. Your senators want to hear from you- don’t miss out on the opportunity to let your voice be heard!

Join an interest group. From the National Rifle Association to the National Organization for Women, there’s an interest group for just about anything you could be passionate about in politics. Joining one that fits your beliefs is another great way to show your civic responsibility although you may not be able to vote. I’m a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and in addition to getting swag in the mail from them every so often, it’s amazing to know I’m supporting an organization that works to protect everyone’s constitutional rights. Interest groups like the ACLU will send you frequent updates about their progress as a whole, as well as linking you with many opportunities to sign petitions or make your support of what they stand for known in other ways.

Have respectful conversations. Speaking from a political standpoint, the country is so divided right now that it’s hard not to raise your voice when discussing the Trump administration. However difficult it may be to remain calm when talking about these important issues, it’s the only way that we can move on together as a nation. No matter which side of the aisle your political opinions lay on, if you speak respectfully with everyone when political issues arise, you can show it’s possible to be friends with anyone, regardless of their politics. Together, we can compromise with each other and even agree to disagree when necessary in order to bridge the gap between the divisive party lines from the ground up.