You Can Be Part of the Solution

You Can Be Part of the Solution

( – Many people haven’t heard of Joseph de Maistre, an 18th-Century French counter-revolutionary – but they probably have heard one of his cynical, but accurate, sayings. De Maistre wrote, “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”

There’s a lot to criticize about our government, but actually, most of the problems are things we can help to solve if we put some work in. Do you want to spend the rest of your life complaining about the society we live in, or would you rather make a difference?

Start Small

Local government might not deal with the big issues, but it can have a huge impact on our everyday lives. If the roads are full of holes, and the local cops don’t have the manpower to stay on top of crime, those are local government issues. The good news is, this is the easiest place to make a difference.

Do you know who your elected officials are? If you don’t, it’s easy to find out. Research officials online, and find out how they stand on the issues that matter to you.

If there’s something you want to change, be active. Attend town hall or city council meetings. When elections come round, find out what the candidates are saying about your concerns. If they haven’t stated a position, write to them; explain why it’s important to you, and ask them where they stand. Still not getting results? You can run for local office yourself.

State Level

State governments don’t have as much influence on local issues, but a lot of policymaking is delegated to states. If you want things to get better you need to play your part in state politics, too.

Get a bill tracker app and stay up to date on what laws your state legislature is trying to pass. Contact legislators and ask them how they plan to vote. If you can mobilize more people to write, that can have a big influence. The key is knowing what’s on the agenda and getting involved early; a bill is much easier to amend – or kill – before it’s built up momentum.

State legislative committees often hold hearings on upcoming bills. Anyone who’s interested can testify; this is a great chance to make your feelings known or propose changes to improve the bill. Legislators don’t always realize the impact their ideas will have on ordinary people – so tell them.

Guiding the Nation

National politics is harder to influence than the state or local levels, but it’s not impossible to have an impact. Just like at the state level, stay current on what legislation is going through, and let your representative and senator know your thoughts as early as you can.

Whatever you want to achieve, the key is to be active. Join a political party. Get involved in local committees and causes. Let your legislators know what you think. Make suggestions on how things could be improved. Most of all, don’t give up if it doesn’t all go your way. Just keep working on making a difference.

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