We need more women in government leadership. More specifically, we need more MOMMIES in government leadership, and not just because Congress looks like a play date gone horribly wrong. Think about it. If you can get a two year old to share his toys without crying, you could pretty much rule the world. You should be out there.
The Obstacles Aren’t Really That Daunting
I know, I know. The mountain of reasons NOT to run for office is high, and growing taller every day. You should definitely discern before jumping into an election.
Politics are awful. Politicians are all bad and crooked. You don’t have any experience in government. Maybe you don’t even follow national news. And most of all, you don’t have time!
Look, I get it. I SO get it. But the truth of it is, being on a city council doesn’t take much time. How much time do you spend volunteering for your kids’ school? Your Church? Your favorite non-profits? I bet you’re already spending a lot of time helping out your community. Being an elected official is in that same category, and very likely takes less time than some of those other commitments. Most meetings are in the evenings and if your kids are old enough to sit still for an hour in Church, they can make it through a government meeting (plus it’s educational!)
It’s a short-term commitment
Most elected positions are in two or four year terms. You aren’t married to the job forever.
When the founders of our nation built our government, it was never intended that people should make a career out of serving in elected office. In fact, it was seen more as a sacrifice for the good of the whole. If those who are adequately educated on the issues and able to step away from their real jobs for a short time here and there take turns serving, no one is overburdened, and leadership never becomes entrenched and stale.
School board, county council, town representative, these roles have no prerequisites. In fact, it’s better if you don’t have experience. That way you’ll view problems and challenges with completely fresh eyes, and perhaps come up with new ideas for approaching them.
You don’t have to be up on all the legislation on the House floor, or follow every executive order. Local politics is a lot closer to home, and you probably know a lot about what’s going on in your community and local government already, just by absorbing it.
It’s Only As Hard As You Make It
All you really have to do to run for office is fill out a couple of forms, especially if you don’t raise or spend any money. Seriously, that’s all that’s actually required in most places, and that’s just to make sure you actually live in the district of the office you’re seeking and that they spell your name right on the ballot. If there’s a politician you can’t stand who’s run unopposed for years, what is there to lose? Even if you do nothing, there’s value in simply presenting voters with a different option. Worst case scenario is that you win. You can’t be sure what the voters really want if they haven’t had options before.
To run a real campaign for office does take some time and effort. (I can help with that!) It might take some sacrifice and creativity. Voters are changing how they take in information, how they meet people, and how they make decisions. That means we can experiment with how we reach out to voters and how we communicate with them. You can do what works for you.
Women Already Control In So Many Ways
When it comes to economy, women are already in charge, controlling upwards of three quarters of the spending that happens in the US. They also need to be influencing taxes, working to attract good businesses, and controlling government spending. Women already “represent” so much more in the consumer economy – making financial decisions for our husbands, our children, and eventually our parents. They can and should also be representing their interests in government.
There Are Republican Women
They just don’t prioritize political involvement the way Democrat women do. Now, clearly we can’t backseat our families, but we can at least consider the option of running for a local office.
As it stands now, Democrats define “women’s issues.” With more Republican women in office, maybe we could make them just “issues,” and stop pretending women are some difficult to grasp minority voting block. Women are half the voters. Half isn’t minority.
If Republican women start showing up on the ballot, we can straighten this out.