By Ben Goldberger —
With the Iowa caucus Feb. 3 and the New Hampshire primary election Feb. 11, the presidential race heats up even more. Candidates are increasing their social media presence, continuing their efforts to fundraise and speaking at rallies to gain a strong base before the democratic presidential candidate is selected on June 13.
The presidential election is less than nine months away now, and while that may seem super far away, it is important that everyone is educated on the candidates as early as possible.
Many people shy away from politics, not wanting to start a fight with whomever they are speaking to.
But being involved with politics is extremely important for any citizen, especially college age students who will soon go into the real world and deal with the policies put in place by government legislators.
“I think, for anyone, it is important to get informed and involved in any way with politics,” says freshman political science major Ivy Stites.
“Politics are what leads up to the policies that police one’s life. Students should pay attention and fight against any policy that may hinder their success as a student and continue that attentiveness and fight when they leave school,” Stites said.
Politics are the engine that fuels this country. All of the laws and regulations that affect every aspect of life are linked to some level of politics. From speed limits on roads to how much college costs, politicians are the ones making the calls.
Anyone who has ever taken out a federal loan for anything, student loans for example, are directly affected by the decisions made by government officials.
This may seem like everything is out of civilians’ control with all the power laying in the hands of government officials. But regular citizens are the ones who control who is able to make those decisions.
By being involved in politics, people are taking their future into their own hands. Being involved can look different for every person, whether that is just discussing beliefs with others, canvassing for a favorite candidate or researching policies and candidates on the ballot before voting.
Even something as small as following government officials on social media will go a long way in keeping one up to date with new policies being passed. By following politicians on social media, citizens learn what policies and issues are important to them, therefore allowing the citizens to find a politician that cares about the same issues.
Downloading an app for a news source is also an easy way to stay up to date with current events around the country and the world. Almost all of the major news sites have mobile apps for phones, such as CNN, Fox News and BBC News.
Try to find the least biased news site to get the most reliable information.
Other ways to get involved that include higher time commitments include contacting representatives about issues, volunteering with campaigns to call voters, going door-to-door representing candidates or volunteering at voting centers on election days.
For those looking to get involved in politics on campus, Stites recommends joining party-affiliated Registered Student Organizations or Student Government Association.
Stites also explained that even simple things like watching the debates are a great way to become politically informed and get involved on a personal level.
Everyone should be involved in politics, no matter how they choose to do so. Government is where the country is molded into the form of America that citizens have to experience every day.
Whether by downloading an app, tuning into the debates or volunteering for campaigns, one is taking a huge step to taking their future, and the future of everyone around them, into their own hands.