Writing for Slate, Osita Nwanevu makes a compelling case for running for office:
The most meaningful thing you can do in the age of Trump, for your community, for your country, is run for office. Across America, Republican politicians stand ready to do their part in the implementation of the Trump and GOP agenda. Beat them.
Across America, Democrats blind to the stakes of the moment, comfortable in their positions or too timid to fight effectively against the Republican Party, stand, like bowling pins, ready to be knocked down again. Replace them. Not with some milquetoast professional or former lobbyist groomed by the state party. You. You, with the undocumented parents; you, who remembers when your town was a steel town; you, PTA regular; you, professor; you, concerned citizen, should run.
Nwanevu is calling for getting rid of well-meaning but complacent Democrats. Even more importantly, we need to make sure there’s someone running against every Republican in the country.
In November, incumbent Republican Pete Sessions was easily re-elected to the House despite Clinton’s win over Donald Trump in his Texas district. How? The Democrats ran the worst candidate they had against him: nobody.
After the Women’s March, there’s been a lot of talk about how to channel that energy into results. Elections matter. But it’s not just about taking back the White House and Congress. From state legislatures to school boards, every one of the 519,682 elected offices in the United States affects people’s daily lives.
First-timers often win these spots. The Tea Party did. It’s time for new people to step up. Nwanevu’s article has great links to resources for people thinking about running.
Over the next four years, I suspect we’ll see unprecedented energy and money flowing towards state and local races. Like the Tea Party, we’ll make gains. And like the Tea Party, we’ll no doubt elect some idiots.
But we’ll also elect some visionaries, the kinds of folks who would otherwise be launching start-ups.
We’ll elect military veterans concerned about gun violence and clean water.
We’ll elect moms who want to defend reproductive rights and freedom of the press.
Even if your life-long dream isn’t politics, it’s probably consuming a huge percentage of your brain cycles these days. Do you feel the country sliding off the road? Perhaps it’s time to grab the wheel.