Ever since Election Day, I have been asked one question over and over again by friends, family, and colleagues who are interested in resisting the Trump administration:
“How can I get involved?”
There is no simple answer to this question. For many, it’s going out and protesting; for some, it’s calling elected representatives; and for others it’s boycotting certain companies. Everyone channels his or her anger differently.
It’s a question I have been struggling with myself, because frankly no activity has seemed right to me. I’m not really a get-out-and-protest kind of guy, even though I know major gatherings have the potential to move the needle and shift the conversation. Nor am I the type to rant and rave on Facebook, though I may be one of the rare few who actually enjoys reading those posts.
In thinking about how I can play my part, I keep coming back to one thing: the current state of the Democratic Party is bleak.
Not only did we let the country elect a megalomaniacal, conspiracy-theory-peddling, anti-intellectual imbecile to be President of the United States. But over time we also have let Republicans gain control of 68 out of 100 State Legislative Houses and 33 out of 50 Governorships. In total, there are only six states where Democrats control the Governor’s mansion and both the upper and lower legislative chamber. Compare that to 25 states where Republicans have complete control.
Many things need to fall into place to shift those numbers, but one of the key ways to begin chipping away at conservative dominance across the country is by creating a deeper, more compelling bench of liberal elected officials across the country. The way we do that is by convincing more young people to run for office and then voting them in — an effort that was largely missing in 2016.
There are remarkable young people starting powerful progressive organizations such as Indivisible and Swing Left, many others serving in various elected offices all across the country, and countless more who are running for office or actively thinking about it. Even though these are the individuals who have the proposals, perspectives, and experiences that will shape the future of liberalism, most of them are unknown outside of a small geographic area. That’s a real shame.
That is why I have decided to start a podcast that will give the next generation of progressive leaders a platform to discuss their stories, explain their ideas, and share their vision for the future.
Every other week I will release a new episode of Next Gen Dem, which will feature an interview with one of these inspirational individuals.
It is my hope that over time this will inspire others to answer the initial question — “how do I get involved?” — in a way that makes the most sense for them. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, I can crack the Top 150 podcasts on iTunes.
If you would like to be a guest on the Next Gen Dem podcast, or know someone who you think would be a good fit, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All episodes will be available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.
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