Q:I really want to get into politics and know what's going on but I feel so overwhelmed and lost. Are there any basics that I should know, or where to even begin?
That’s a rough one. I’ll try, but this isn’t a tried and tested method.
The easy way is to get some rich friends and talk to them about how you would help them if you were elected, then get them to help you raise money.
But the right way, which is how I’d want to do it, would be to first make sure you know your convictions.Then, study the issues. Don’t just say you would create jobs, what are your ideas for how to do it? Maybe conditional tax breaks for employers who hire certain numbers of employees and retain them for specific periods of time? Maybe you want to talk about deregulating certain industries…but how do you reconcile that with the original needs for regulation?
And whatever you do, don’t pick a favorite news source and only read/listen to/watch them. These days, even the best journalists aren’t getting the full story out there. You have to see what multiple sources are saying to get more of a full picture of what’s actually going on.
Always be ready to back up your claims. Don’t pull a Paul Ryan and say things that are easily disproved. If you’ve got reliable sources, any fallout if new/different information comes out shouldn’t look too terrible for you. But never intentionally mislead people. I won’t say that everyone will see through you (let’s face it, some people still believe that Obama is a foreign-born Muslim terrorist), but enough will see through the lies.
Where to begin is up to you, really. Maybe pick something that you feel strongly about. Get involved. Go out and meet other people who are fighting for the same things you are. Get to know them, nd let them get to know you. Eventually, you may make a bit of a name for yourself. Name recognition is huge in politics. That’s why you sometimes hear about dead people winning elections. People know the name, so they check that box on the ballot.
Be concise. I know, sounds weird coming from me. I’m the Bill Clinton of blogs in that I ramble for long periods of time, just like he did when he was giving speeches. But for the most part, keeping the message simple is better. I’m sure the four or five people who actually read most of my rantings would agree.
But again, I don’t have any tried-and-true answers here. I’ve thought about going into politics many times, mostly for the same reason that I used to want to be a cop or a dad…because I’ve seen it done wrong, and want to show how to do it right.
But then I get discouraged because I’d be outnumbered by people who are just playing the game for their own benefit. And I’m still pretty sure that I’d end up assassinated.