It seems like every day there’s some new crisis or scandal going on in the political world. None of the issues are new, they just seem to be reaching new heights. However, you can also flip what’s been going on in Washington and at state levels and find that there are some positive things happening as a result.
Organized Activism is On the Rise
There have always been collectives and outreach organizations at the grassroots level, but organizations like National Endowment for Democracy are taking things global, and they aren’t relying on handouts to fulfill their mission. Not only are they monitoring elections and politics in countries around the world, they’re also inspiring and educating activists of all ages. They also try to foster growth of democratic movements and strengthen political institutions.
On a more local, personal level, you’re seeing people who wouldn’t ordinarily protest hitting the streets in record numbers. It’s not just students or professional activists marching, starting petitions or volunteering. You’ll also see businessmen, soccer moms and regular Joes who are mad as hell and got something to say about it.
People Are Beginning to Realize Their Vote Does Matter
A common refrain from those who abstain is “What’s the point of voting? My vote won’t make a difference.” While presidential elections, with their primaries, delegate systems and the Electoral College may make that seem true, the closeness of recent races has caused a lot of people to wake up.
Some local and state elections have been decided by just a handful of votes, and that’s becoming the rule rather than the acceptation. Women, ethnic minorities and young people are becoming especially active, as a 98% turnout among black women in a recent state election demonstrates.
Voter Engagement is Getting Stronger
That brings us to voter engagement. It involves more than just getting off your butt and going out to vote. It seems like more people are making the effort to educate themselves on the issues. The only thing left now is to keep the momentum going so that we don’t have only 30% or so of the eligible voters deciding for the rest of us.
Millennial, who are set to become the largest demographic in the country soon, are especially active and informed. Recent elections, as well as social and political activism, are higher now among young people than any time since the civil rights struggles and Vietnam era.
Women are also making their voices heard in the streets and at the ballot box. Many of the most recent state elections have had surprising results, and nearly all were driven by women voters. Another big change in elections is party loyalty. Sure, there are die-hards who will vote the party line no matter what, but they are now in the minority. Both parties are bleeding voters to the extent that the largest voting block is now made up of independents.
Whether you learn more about how our politics processes work on your own or you join an organization like The National Endowment for Democracy, realize that the future of our country depends on involved, informed citizens to hold politicians accountable for their actions. They are public servants, they work for us. If you don’t like your choices, consider a local or national run yourself.
Article Submitted By Community Writer