Please stay with me for a moment—do not stop reading because of the title. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I have been wondering for so long how someone who seems so vile, racist, and hate-filled can be the most popular candidate for the 2016 Presidential Elections. After much thought, I think I stumbled upon the answer. He is a breath of fresh air for the United States. Why? Trump is a rare breed of politician—he is extremely open and honest. We do not have to wonder what he believes, wants, or desires. Although we may not agree with what Trump says, we know what he plans to do.
Our country needs more Trumps. We need more politicians, community officials, and leaders to speak their truth and stand by their words. We want their actions to match their words. The problem with our electoral and political systems is that we really do not know what most of our politicians are thinking. We do know, however, that they are willing to change their viewpoints based on the political action committees (PAC).
We want to believe the people who represent us. How can we do this? We need to become more engaged within our community. Our civic engagement does not begin and end with voting. It begins during the campaign season, and it should never end. Start by studying your candidates. For new candidates, learn their platforms, see which organizations they support as well as the organizations and PACs that support them, and look at their resumes. Although they may not have a political career, the candidates should have experience to make them qualified for their desired position. For example, if a candidate is running for City Comptroller, does she have a business or finance background? Has she had significant experience in treasury or accounting? If the candidate has held previous political positions, has she upheld her campaign promises? Have her actions matched her words, or did she just always follow the status quo?
Once elections are completed, you should continue to follow your elected officials. Whether you voted for them or not, your welfare will be impacted by their decisions. Go to your town halls and legislative meetings. Follow the bills they sponsor and support. Write your officials and spread the word to help keep your community informed.
If we have more Trumps, I believe the citizens of these supposedly “united” states will become more engaged with elections. They will be more will be willing to participate in the voting process. They will be willing to run, and more citizens will believe that they can make an impact. Therefore, as we enter this new year and begin the primary elections and caucuses, let us make a resolution to stay involved. Then, we can ensure that there will be more fresh air like Donald Trump, but this time it will not be tainted with loathsome words and discrimination. So breathe honesty into the political process so we can finally stop waiting to exhale equality.
All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.
— Albert Einstein