Check your U.S. voter registration status or register to vote here.

The Cynical Darkness of Politics

Chapter 1 — Why Run For Office?

Dr. Ryan A. Starzyk
Aug 22 · 3 min read

Running for office is no easy task, just as politics is no easy game to engage in. Our democratic system is more robust when more people participate by running for office and having their voices heard by casting a vote. You may or may not win, but that should not be the only factor to consider when running. Run because you care about the community and want to make a positive impact.

My decision to run came after a lot of deep reflection in 2018. I watched the turmoil unfold at the Arizona State Capitol, and nationally only to realize there was something more I could do. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and complaining about the issues, I jumped in because I care. Before you run, you must take time to reflect on yourself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I would recommend even talking with a professional therapist to ensure you have the right mental capacity to handle what is to come. Engage with your friends, family, and mentors. Really understand what it is you want to do and how to frame it in a way that does not hurt your message. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What do I care about?
  2. How can the things I care about helping my community?
  3. What are the current policies of the things I care about, and how would I propose doing them differently?

You will be challenged on every little detail so be prepared for it. Do not give unfiltered answers, if you don’t know, just say that, but make sure to find out and get back to them. Even the most well-researched policies will be ridiculed and ripped apart. Identify the most likely reasons someone will poke holes in it, and be ready to fill the holes as you go. Some people will contradict themselves with responses, just say something nice to them and move on. Don’t engage in bantering.

Remember: Nothing is what it seems in politics.

In reality, there is no book in the world that can prepare anyone to run for public office. Every race is different, filled with unexpected occurrences, and obstacles. You have to be ready to adapt within a moment’s notice, even if you took weeks planning out a simple scenario. The stress levels will be highest when you are being attacked by others.

Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You don’t need their approval, in fact, if they are attacking you, there is no way to win them over (yet). Move on to the dozens of others who will support you. For every one that hates you, there will be more than love you.

Why run for office?

Do it because you care. Make sure you want it and are ready for it.

Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

Ryan A. Starzyk, Progressive Democrat

Ryan A. Starzyk

Military Veteran | Progressive Democrat

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store