Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Oct. 30, 2018 1 min read

"Why should I vote for a party that doesn’t really do anything for me as a voter?"

Well, why should a party do anything for you if you don't vote?

Do you think sitting it out is going to change things? They'll suddenly care about your issues because...? 

Parties go after votes, which means they focus on issues that are important to the people who will most likely vote.

It's not an accident that both parties are attentive to Medicare and Social Security. It's because they know if they don't, they'll pay a price with seniors.

Parties aren't set in stone, either.

If you follow me here on Twitter, you may have noticed me explaining that they have actually changed a little over time, shifting radically on key issues -- solely because they thought they could get the votes of more voters that way.

So, if you want your issue to matter to politicians, first, you need to make it clear that they will pay a price for ignoring you.

Sitting out the political process doesn't hurt them one bit. In fact, it makes their life *easier* because they have fewer voters to reckon with.

Voting for a party's candidates (especially in a primary where there are different options) is a key step here, but go a step further and work to take over the party itself.

Show up at party meetings, make your voice heard, do the grunt work, run for local office, all that.

Listen, I work on the history of modern conservatism.

At mid-century, conservatives were largely on the outs of the political process. The felt ignored too. But they went to work and effectively took control of the Republican Party over a few decades. Now they set its agenda.

If you don't like what the major parties are doing, get in there and force them to address your issues.

If enough people like you make your voices heard, then they'll have to listen, if only because it'll be in their *own* self-interest to take you and your interests seriously.

You can follow @KevinMKruse.


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