If you didn’t love politics, you probably would not have clicked to read this. Or maybe you’re curious as to what it’s like to be so heavily involved in politics that your social calendar revolves around it. And I’m here to tell you that it’s one of the best annoyances to have in life.
I got into politics in high school and when I went off to college, my interest grew to the point where I began to campaign for Mitt Romney. I spent my Saturday mornings in a small house off a highway making phone calls to potential voters or knocking on the doors of a coal town in West Virginia. When you’re involved in politics, you have to start at the bottom. That means door knocking, phone banking, and shamelessly wearing a campaign t-shirt with the name of someone that many people didn’t even know existed. Phone banking can be frustrating because people will hang up on you or they might use some colorful words to describe how annoying you are for calling them (especially if you’re phone banking on the afternoon of a big football game). Knocking on the door of a complete stranger’s house to ask them if they would like more information about the candidate you’re promoting. There are benefits to working on that side of politics. You learn the secrets of how to get people to like you even when they disagree with you whole-heartedly. You also learn the skills of marketing.
In your school classes, you’re probably one of the few people who think the way you do (or maybe you’re lucky enough to go to a school where a lot of people think like you); so you’re constantly having the internal fight between whether to stay silent or to really let your opinion out. This can sometimes cause foot tapping, pencil wagging, or nail biting. You also risk turning negative attention on yourself if you don’t know where your professor stands on the issue or you don’t know if your professor is actually open to diverse opinions. This also leads to leaving the classroom and immediately calling your political best friend or aggressively texting your significant other about the things you wish you would’ve said or what did say and probably shouldn’t have.
Politics keeps us busy. So when we’re not texting you back during a debate, it’s nothing personal. We are either extremely focused or we’re live tweeting it. Don’t be mad if I don’t text you for a few hours when I am at a family gathering because chances are that I’m sitting around a table with a bunch of adults pretending that I’m Dana Perino on The Five.
Another tip: it’s probably not in your best interest to text me after one of candidates drops out, their bill fails, or a major anti-Republican news story breaks. Sometimes we take the candidates or politicians in-fighting as a personal attack because we are one with a certain politician. Sometimes we cry. That might be because we’re extremely happy that one of our candidates did well or because our candidate dropped out. Maybe we just saw Hillary Clinton on TV saying that she was pro-woman so we laughed ‘til we cried. No matter what, politics has the uncanny ability to sway our emotions more than any amount of kitten videos ever could.
We’re very passionate people. If you ask us who we’re voting for, we are quick to pull out the speech we had prepared for this moment, we’ll look around for a gavel, and begin giving you the speech we know you didn’t want. It’s in our nature to start a conversation with “Did you see what Rand Paul tweeted?” or “Did you see Trump’s new spray tan?” Our version of small talk often involves what happened in the most recent debate. A night out on the town will probably turn into something resembling “Outnumbered” on Fox News Channel.
Having a relationship with politics also means having a relationship with other political activists. I have gained so many best friends from politics and I know I can turn to any of the FFL Cabinet Members with any problem I may have. These are the people I trust in a world of politics where finding those trustworthy, loyal friends is hard.
If you’re a president or on an executive board for any organization, you’re pretty much married to it. You spend your free time planning events, scheduling meetings, making the outline for the meetings, tabling, networking, or co-sponsoring events to get our name out on campus or in the mouths of others.
Politics is a wild ride. Politics is something you learn to love, but we just fell for it earlier than most. We are dedicated, loyal, passionate, and hopeful. Politics is a lot like having a relationship; when things are good, they’re very good, but when they’re bad, they’re horrid. We have our ups and downs. We often turn to pizza and wine to calm our anxiety about a debate or the latest poll numbers. At the end of the day, we go to bed thinking about politics and wake up with the inevitable tweet about that dream you had featuring your favorite political candidate winning the presidency. People will always be curious about your love for politics, but don’t ever let that get in the way of you and your CPAC dream to get a picture with that special candidate you’ve had your eye on for a few months.
Politics is one of the best relationships I’ve ever had.