Opinion: The eyes of history are on us, so let’s get to work
"Now is the time for all of us to get involved in politics, because you can make a substantial difference in the lives of so many people."
For the last year and a half, I have been proud to serve as the president of the College Democrats of Delaware, and of the university chapter. At the conclusion of the semester, I will be stepping down from my position to serve Delaware on Capitol Hill with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, but in the midst of such a historically significant time in our nation’s politics, I wanted to share what I believe is the most crucial thing that I have learned: now is the time for all of us to get involved in politics, because you can make a substantial difference in the lives of so many people.
That is especially true here in Delaware, and is only amplified here at this university. We are very lucky on this campus to have things like the Biden Institute, the Center for Political Communication and the folks working at both of them that bring in national political figures, former White House employees and industry leaders to campus for the sole purpose of making them available to students looking to learn.
We at College Democrats have been fortunate to hold events with every single statewide elected official in Delaware, including the federal ones. They all have been so nice and helpful, and all of them were there out of a desire to learn from us and to try to get us involved. The opportunities to meet powerful people are there if you put in the effort into taking advantage of them.
Unfortunately, however, our greatest problems at this time are originating from the federal level. Just to name a few, we have a president challenging the law on a daily basis and exclusively operating only in his own self-interest, people living their lives in constant fear of gun violence, a climate crisis threatening the planet and debilitating healthcare costs forcing people into crippling debt to stay healthy. In order to address every one of those issues, it is us young voters who need to take action, and there is no time like the present to do that.
Simply, elections have consequences, and as we head further into the 2020 election cycle, there are plenty to choose from.
Just in Delaware, incumbents Gov. John Carney, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. Blunt Rochester are all seeking reelection to their respective offices, and there are plenty of state-level races to look at that can genuinely have a major, direct impact on the daily lives of every Delawarean. Among those that are priorities are Kyle Evans Gay, who is looking to flip Senate District 5, Stephanie Barry, who is looking to flip Representative District 21, and Sarah McBride who is looking to replace longtime Democratic Sen. Harris McDowell in Senate District 1. McBride is already a national trailblazer in her own right given her work fighting for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. There are also various contested Democratic primary elections on every level that may be of interest to you.
Of course, there is also the presidential election. Every campaign offers the ability to volunteer remotely. Whether it is making phone calls or knocking on people’s doors, the opportunities are there, and I am sure each campaign would be happy to have you help. On the other hand, we are lucky to be right next to one of the most crucial general election battleground states: Pennsylvania. When the time comes, there will be ample opportunities to get involved in the fight against President Donald Trump there, in person.
Politics has the ability to affect every facet of our lives, and I can guarantee that there is at least one change in policy that we all want to see. There is no better person than you to put in the work to make sure that change actually takes place. We are very lucky to be in such a small state as Delaware, because it is so much easier to get involved in the political process and to interact with those in positions of power here than it would be in a bigger state.
In the very recent past, we have seen several youth-led movements, especially regarding the issues of gun violence with March for Our Lives and climate change with the Global Climate Strike. Even if the necessary change doesn’t come in one fell swoop, what better way is there to spend your time than working to make a difference? If we put in the work, it will indeed come in due time.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time,” President Barack Obama famously said in 2008. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Jacob Wasserman is a junior political science student at the university. He is the president of the College Democrats of Delaware, and a contributor to The Review. His opinions are his own and do not reflect the views of the majority of The Review’s staff. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.