Vote. Yes, the U.S. Federal system is flawed with the Electoral College, but that doesn’t mean one should disenfranchise. States and other local elections don’t have the same problem. They often have different problems.
Don’t be a single issue voter. Water, food, and shelter are the three basic issues to living; as a starting point in Civics, these are as solid as they come.
Take time to rank the issues that are important to you and your position. Redo it every two years.
Educate yourself on the issues.
Beware any candidate who’s platform is:
- Making someone less-than (immigrants, races, religions, generations, LGBTQ+, as examples)
- Anti-tax for the sake of being anti-tax
- Thirsty, or more interested in whipping up their base
- Exclusively interested in one religion or one sect
Prefer smart candidates, especially those with experience.
Do not be defined by a politician or candidate for office. Do not invest emotionally in any candidate for anything.
Consider investing financially or in your time to a candidate who closely matches your views and positions.
Do not watch or pay attention to political advertisements.
While the rich and/or famous should not be disqualified from running for and holding office, give them extra scrutiny to see if they could even do the job.
Government is not a business. It should not be run like one.
Pay attention to redistricting. Voting districts should be drawn by independent commissions. Gerrymandering is cheating and rarely, if ever, benefits those not in office.
It is truly rare that anyone “pulls themselves up by their bootstraps” or that they never accepted aid or had help from government, family, &c.
Ranked voting should be considered.
Remember: most politicians are lawyers. Those that aren’t may not be any more informed about broader issues like health, economics, technology. and so on.
Remember: $1 in Topeka, KS is not the same as $1 in D.C. or NYC or LA. Drawing conclusions based on dollars or cost will vary wildly across the country.
Remember: The U.S. also includes Native American nations, Puerto Rico, territories, protectorates, and possessions of the U.S.