“Conventional wisdom held that an expected Hillary Clinton victory in the 2016 presidential election would have spurred a colossal wave of women to run for office, inspired by Clinton’s example. Instead, the Electoral College gave the presidency to an unrepentant misogynist who—by many accounts, including his own—makes a habit of grabbing women’s genitals. But fear and anger, it turns out, can be as powerful a motivator as joy.” – Christina Cauterucci, Slate
One of the only good things about Trump winning the election is the fact that it has inspired many intelligent, progressive, hard working people to run for office. Prior to Trump being elected, Americans generally had the idea that in order to be an elected official, you had to adhere to a gold standard in terms of your political knowledge and personal life. Trump’s political and personal beliefs are so substandard they’re offensive, forcing many to look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I could definitely do better.”
If you are thinking you could do better, we’re here to say, “You’re right!” The best way to resist the Trump agenda is to run for office. By one count, there are 519,682 elective offices in the United States. Although a lot of the people holding them are great, a lot of them are not. Sometimes the worst ones run unopposed.
In “I ran for office and won, here’s how,” Juana Matias, a 29-year-old Dominican immigrant and first time Massachusetts state representative gives the advice, “You have to look at what the needs are in your community. What is your message? What are your values? And how do you get that across to your fellow residents in your district? I knew that employment was very important; I knew that public schools were very important; and I understood the political climate I found myself in.”
Once you’ve identified your message and decided to run, there are a number of resources available to help you as a progressive candidate. Better Georgia can help you get started. Also, a number of organizations offer candidate trainings, which many first-time candidates have said were helpful.
It’s time for smart, capable, progressive people to become elected officials. Stop waiting to get involved, run for office!