5 Ways You Can Be Politically Active

Megan Mattei, Senior Staff Writer

Due to the recent election, people are becoming more politically active. It is easier to become educated and voice your opinion more than ever before through quickly advancing technology. We have access to the news 24/7 and can put our opinions on any social media we want at any time we want. This past election cycle has also contributed to the number of young people who are discovering their own political opinions. Yet, they often do not know how to educate themselves or express their nascent views. And so, social media is full of nasty and vulgar posts from both sides of the aisle. But, you cannot win someone over with hate. So let’s learn how to respectfully and most effectively present our political views.

Before even expressing a political belief, make sure you understand the issue completely. There’s not a single news source that doesn’t have some political bias but make sure you sure for the most credible sources. Visiting news sources of all political biases will help you stay more informed, and, as nonsensical as it may sound, understand opinions contrary to your own. Only when you understand each side of an issue do you have the perspective to form and argue an opinion. There are many factors that contribute to the credibility of a source. According to the University of Washington Green Bay, a person should look at the author, the date of publication, references sources, the domain of the website (.org, .com, .edu), the design of the site overall, and the quality of the style of writing. Learn more here https://uknowit.uwgb.edu/page.php?id=30276. Be sure that you are not a victim of political slant and a charged state of affairs. Beyond these secondary resources, you get can information straight from the horse’s mouth. You can sign up for updates from the White House through you email or follow its twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube and even snapchat accounts.

If you want even further information and still feel uncomfortable trusting biased news sources, contact your elected officials. But, be sure to contact only your representatives; your opinion with be disregarded if you are not a constituent. Calling is the most effective way to connect to your senator. Yes, our generation has grown more comfortable commenting behind a screen but calling will ensure that your opinion is heard. It is easy to move an email to the trash folder but difficult to dismiss a concerned caller, the kind of caller the official represents and that got he or she into power. Much like the White House, you can sign up to receive updates from your officials. To find discover your elected officials, visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

One of the many wonderful things we’re promised here in the United States is the right to vote for elected officials who reflect our beliefs. So do it! When you turn eighteen, register to vote at https://vote.gov/. Make sure to research the candidates before going to the polls. In addition, registering as a democrat or republican will allow you to vote in the Primaries.

One of the many perks of living in Southern Maryland is our proximity to the nation’s capital. Attending a rally is another great way of supporting a cause you’re passionate about. Rallies show that people are willing to travel and voice their opinions in person. Recently, there have been issues in which protesters have resorted to violence. Violence is not the way to represent your feelings about political ideas. It only deteriorates your reputability. The best course of action is to be clear in your opinions.

Social media is great for finding communities of people who hold similar political beliefs. Following your elected officials and government officials that hold your beliefs is a great way of staying informed. Through social media we can follow politics through news media pages and we can also voice our own opinions. While this is a great way of being politically active, this past election has showed that this way of voicing our opinions can create serious tension. While voicing your political opinion, or any opinion, remember to THINK. T, is it true? H, is it helpful? I-is inspiring? N-is it necessary? K, is it kind? So let’s avoid such violence and take ral political action.