You should run for office.*
I’ve been bearish on the prospect of America continuing as a liberal democracy that protects its citizens’ civil rights for a while now. The Supreme Court’s decision—issued at midnight, unsigned, relying purely on easily surmountable procedural obstacles—allowing Texas to keep its wildly unconstitutional anti-choice law on the books didn’t help. The Court has done a lot of evil things in the last few years, many in my area of immigration. Overturning a cornerstone of civil and women’s rights in the middle of the night while pretending they didn’t is a despicable new low. Read Justice Sotomayor’s clear-eyed dissent here.
Fascists and the fascist-adjacent have an iron grip on most of America’s levers of power. Yes, Democrats currently control the White House and Congress. But what good is that when, for at least the next several decades, the Supreme Court can just block anything they do while giving the green light to more and more draconian anti-civil rights laws? And how can Democrats win future elections when most states are controlled by Republicans intent on dismantling the right to vote for anyone who doesn’t vote for them?
Needless to say, I’m pretty despondent. America is in a deep, dark place.
Which is why you should run for office.
“But I’m just a teacher/writer/librarian/scientist/scuba instructor/barista/butcher/receptionist! I didn’t study law or politics or anything like that!”
It doesn’t matter. Honestly, that’s better. You should run for office.
If you have ever had any desire to shape the policies that affect your life, whether zoning laws or school board decisions or measures to prevent the spread of plague, you should run for office. However ill-equipped you think you may be to hold local or state or federal office, there are a whole lot of people doing a much worse job than you would.
I don’t know what else can be done at this point. Every office on every ballot in the country needs to be flooded with progressives, ASAP. We need to fundamentally rebuild this country’s political structure by putting people who aren’t evil and/or incompetent in charge. So go read about how to get started. Check out which offices are open in your area soon. And then run.
*If you’re a progressive. If you’re not, go ahead and sit this one out.