Ways to beat the political fatigue we’re all feeling
After a year and a half of exhaustedly following the election, I woke up on Nov. 9 full of disappointment and dread. I couldn’t make sense of how a country I once believed to be the greatest in the world could elect a man that has run a campaign filled with guaranteed hatred toward women and minorities. I felt all he had done in his campaigning efforts was spread and ignite hatred around the world. This election exhausted me and made me question everything I believed in. As a political science major, it also made me question my major and my future. And these concerns were minor compared to many other people.
I questioned the direction the country was heading. I questioned everything. After digesting my disappointment and anger, and really sitting with it, I came to accept the facts. Donald Trump will be our next president. Not that I support this decision, but I believe that the last thing our country needs is to silence its citizen’s voices. We all need to be heard. We all need to fight.
Four tips on how to fight political fatigue:
Refuse to be silenced: March, protest, rally, write and speak your mind – there’s something for everyone. Do whatever gets you out there to express your feelings and fight injustice.
Stay informed: Breathe and take it all in, let the realization wash over you. But don’t cower in the shadows, shutting the rest of the world out. Stay informed, stay current and stay up to date on policies so you know exactly what you’re up against.
Stay unified: Protest your heart out – you have that right. But don’t tear others down to get yourself there. That’s how we got here in the first place. Our political efforts should not be a hate march or an anti-smear campaign. Love, love, love despite everything that tells you not to.
Take breaks: We all need a moment sometimes. Take them. Take extra for good measure. Do all the above to fight injustice and inequality but do this for you. You can only help if you’re at your best.
We owe the president-elect a sense of gratitude for assigning us such a ferocious task. For everyone who is politically fatigued after this long grueling election, now is not the time to rest. Now is not the time to give up on the government. Now is the time to make sure that every voice he has insulted, chastised, disrespected and neglected is not silenced. We must rise up, let go of his negativity and use it as fuel for change.
We need to look at one another and come together and hold him to his promise of uniting the country. We need to fight any act that discriminates against minorities, women, religious groups and the LGBTQ+ community. We need to look long and hard at one another and consider what we can do to be better, and what we can do to improve who we are.
We can’t fight with one another. We can’t look down at one another. We can’t give up on one another. We must pay more attention to everyone no matter their race, gender, faith or sexual orientation. We are all the same beings. We share the same planet and we breathe the same air. We all deserve to be respected and heard.
All our voices coming together need to be loud enough for our leaders in Washington to hear. We need to chant “we will not let him take away the rights of minorities, the rights of women, the rights of faith and the rights of the working class.”
No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, we all can understand that we will always differ on issues of policy, but we all are Americans and we deserve to be heard no matter what. We need to close the dividing line.
Now is not the time to give up hope. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to learn and better ourselves. Everyone has heard the phrase “treat others the way that you would like to be treated.” So let’s put that lesson into action.
If you feel fatigued after the election, step away from watching the news and read about our own government, read about climate change, read about stories of heroic acts throughout our history. Read.
Stay active in your community by helping others volunteering at a local shelter or school. Attend lectures provided by the political science department. Do your part to help keep the environment clean as you can. Inspire others to preach love and not hate.
Ian Paleologopoulos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.