There has been much written about this election. Go to any social media site and it’s staring the reader in the face. Visit any news website or crack open a newspaper and the same is true. There are a huge number of words I could put to paper, which many people, who are smarter and better writers than I, have already written and published. When deciding on a topic for this week, I wished to avoid the whys of the election, and instead focus on the hows of moving forward.
Allow me to indulge myself a little by saying this: Hillary Clinton lost because of the problems she always had, not the problems she gained. No, James Comey did not change the election results. In the end, voters believed Hillary Clinton was corrupt, a part of the Beltway and Wall Street intelligentsia, unexciting and untrustworthy. These faults led to a depressed turnout amongst Democrats in key swing states. Although it is easy to distinguish policy from person, who the candidate is does matter. Donald Trump excited people who were not racists, not deplorables, not stupid and loathed being called these words.
The collective liberal meltdown to be had on Trinity’s campus this past week has made these thoughts especially poignant. It was incredibly easy to place myself in the Trinity liberal bubble and be surprised at the results of the election. It was incredibly easy to dismiss the opposition as a small group of people who held the wrong view, and would be punished by the electorate. But, as the election results show, that group is not small. It makes me wonder, what more can I do to help my party and what more can everyone else do? To be sure, I do not mean to dissuade or insult anyone reading this. If you voted, great job, you’re already doing more than many Americans (about one hundred million of them). But it takes a larger effort if you want to win.
There are literally thousands of ways to get involved with the democratic process. It does not have to be political. You can help register people to vote with a local organization. One local organization for San Antonio is called MOVE San Antonio. There are also many nonprofits which take political action. Or if you want to go through political angles, there are local parties at the county level. Furthermore, within those groups, there are sections created specifically for students and young activists. There are plenty of ways to get involved, the one factor affecting it above all else, is you.
It’s easy to share something on Facebook. It’s easy to talk to your like-minded friends about your political views. It’s easy to vote. And it’s easy to be out there. Before you criticize those who do not vote, or those you believe made the incorrect decision, consider doing more than sharing a post. Consider volunteering, taking a packet, knocking on doors and making phone calls. The smallest democratic unit is the voter. Spending four hours of your time on a weekend could translate to at least a dozen extra people mobilizing themselves to vote. If you want to see a change, then go out and make a change.
(For those interested in making a change in our area, visit movesanantonio.org to inquire about volunteering, fellowships, and internship opportunities.)
Alex Perkowski is a junior political science major. He’s also the president-elect of Omega Phi.