In the United States, we’re blessed to have what many people consider to be the best political system in the world. Our political system isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but in comparison to other systems, it’s a beacon of hope. The best thing about our system is that it’s the most inclusive, and you don’t have to be rich or famous to run for office.
If you’ve never run for office or work on a campaign, you may think that all elections are like the presidential race. However, most other elections aren’t as dramatic or theatrical. Continue reading to learn what else you need to know about running for office.
You can’t win an election alone.
The most important thing you need to know about running for office is that you can’t do it alone. Even if you’re not running a presidential campaign, you’re going to need a trustworthy team that believes in your vision to help you achieve success.
You’re going to need several types of people on your team. You’ll need someone who can quarterback your campaign, people who can help you craft your message and come up with campaign slogans, and energetic people to evangelize for you. You don’t have to build an enormous team, but you need passionate supporters to push you across the finish line.
Use social media responsibly.
Even though we have free speech in the U.S., it’s a good idea to be extra careful what you say in public and on social media. Regardless of your political leanings, you’ve probably seen how social media was Donald Trump’s undoing. Right now, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who’s a freshman in the House of Representatives, is having to answer for things she posted years ago.
Good or bad, what you post on social media will follow you like a playful pup or ravenous wolf. When posting to a social media site, it’s important to have a consistent message. You should carefully craft your posts to show yourself as a trustworthy thought leader.
You also have to be aware of the cybercriminals who pervade social media sites. If they’re able to get your personal information, they can wreak havoc on your campaign and your life. With spyware, ransomware, and other types of malware, hackers can hold your personal information hostage, sell it to other hackers, and dismantle your campaign from the inside out.
If you’re wondering how to stop a cyberstalker or other cybercriminals from thwarting your plans, you need a robust IT system, capable IT specialists, and an effective cybersecurity system. As you can see, we have a lot more to worry about these days than Abraham Lincoln or Woodrow Wilson did when they were presidential candidates, so don’t take the safety of your campaign for granted.
Look the Part.
Even though there are no federal laws that govern how politicians should dress, you should dress for the job you want. The rule of thumb is if it’s proper attire for a court hearing, it’s proper attire for the campaign trail. Look at your campaign as a long job interview process, and dress and carry yourself accordingly.
Politicians are civil servants.
We have a culture that obsesses over big names and personalities, but being a politician shouldn’t be about increasing your personal profile. The best thing about the United States’ system is that politicians have to answer to the people that put them into office, or those same people will fire them during the next election.
If you truly want a career in politics, you shouldn’t wait until you’re getting ready to launch your campaign to become active in your community. With the prevalence of social media, there’s no way that voters’ first time hearing about you should be when you toss your hat into a race for office. The first step to building a positive image and a political career is to become a resource for your community.
Take on an issue that’s near and dear to your heart, and put the same energy into that cause as you would into your election campaign. Even though you should serve from the heart, it’s important to put the work you do on social media. Posting to social media will bring attention to your cause as well as yourself.