In an age of widespread politics in every form of media, it seems impossible to get away from debates over candidates and policy. Despite the annoyances it may bring, the pervasiveness of politics in media has contributed to the rise in political activism in numerous groups, especially in the youth. Maybe you are one of those that participate in politics, maybe your friends do, maybe you avoid it at all costs. No matter your current stance, it's important to understand why you—and everybody—should find their role in political participation.
Your voice matters
Primarily, your opinions and feelings are important, and they should be represented. Our democracy was built upon the idea that all citizens should have a say in the leaders that make decisions about our health, protection, property, and other fundamental rights. Being involved in politics is your guaranteed right as a citizen—you might as well use it.
The youth are underrepresented, but they don't have to be
Often, too many young people complain about how none of the laws that flow through Congress and the senators that are supposed to represent them fail to meet the needs—or even address them—of the youth. Although this is not entirely the fault of low participation among younger populations, the sheer lack of political participation among Millennials is a significant reason for the number of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers that run our government. With vastly different perspectives, biases, and needs, these older generations can never accurately fulfill the desires of the youth. Thus, by participating in politics, you have the opportunity to shift the numbers and elect younger representatives.
You have a civic responsibility to participate
Though it is an overused phrase, it does hold some truth: your ancestors fought for your right to vote. Whether it was the men that fought the Revolutionary War, the Black community that protested until the 15th Amendment was passed, or the women who battled for suffrage, the right to vote was bought at a significant cost by at least one of the communities you belong to. Not only your voting rights but your ability to speak and be active in politics as well. Voting and being politically knowledgeable, at the least, is not only your right but your responsibility. You owe it to the communities that suffered and continue to suffer in order to give you that freedom.
Participating will expand your knowledge and relationships
Participation in politics will open an infinite amount of doors for you. Maybe you'll find a new passion or hobby, a new friend or community. Becoming vocal about your beliefs and standing up for your rights will lead you to a variety of novel opportunities—opportunities you would have missed if not for becoming involved. Not only will you build upon your friendships and create new ones, but you will also grow your knowledge. In a contemporary world where society has become aware of being politically correct, it is your responsibility to keep up. Being active in the political community will allow you to become sensitive to these standards. No matter your motivation, you will reap the benefits of what participating in politics can bring.
Your rights are probably being infringed upon—stand up for them
No matter your identity—your race, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and beliefs—you are most likely subject to the injustices our current governmental system places upon numerous groups, underrepresented or not. Society tends to fluctuate, and there has been a trend towards anti-progression of late. Whether this directly affects you or not, it's your responsibility to support the rights owed to all individuals. The life, liberty, and happiness of millions are at stake under the existing systems of government and the new laws being put in place daily. No matter your stance on these injustices, you have the power to speak up and become involved, so why not?