If you look at news on the web, on TV, or on your social media feeds, it seems like politics have never been more toxic than they are today. Partisanship, gridlock, and continuous outrage make it easy for a man to look at the political realm and say, “No thanks.” Yet the thread of politics runs deep through the history of man — occasionally giving us knots, but also weaving in some of our strongest leaders and noblest ideals. It has created a fabric that ties us together, across social classes and throughout the generations. A few eminent men throughout history make our responsibility clear:
“Be master of yourself, and view life as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, and as a mortal.” —Marcus Aurelius
“It ought to be axiomatic in this country that every man must devote a reasonable share of his time to doing his duty in the Political life of the community.” —Theodore Roosevelt (Find more of Teddy’s incisive thoughts on citizenship here.)
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” —John F. Kennedy
The most direct way to get involved in politics is to run for office yourself, but you don’t have to go all-in to make a difference. There are a wide range of opportunities to participate in the democratic process, and along the way you will sharpen your own beliefs, strengthen your connection with your community, and make friendships forged in common values and shared experiences. I’ve met some of my best friends while working on campaigns, and I hope your journey can be just as rewarding.
If you have never volunteered for a campaign before, gotten involved with a political party, or helped facilitate an election, this is your call to action, and your guide to getting started. If you are already active in politics, you may find a new way to broaden your experiences and take on a larger role in your community. Your town, your state, your district, and your country cannot improve unless good men open the gates and step into TR’s rhetorical arena. Let’s get started.