Political Activism Needs to Continue After the Election



As the 2020 presidential election looms closer, it seems virtually impossible to avoid the intense emotional and political stress pressing down on the nation. Despite this, it is essential to remember our civic duty to remain active participants in the political sphere.

While voting is a great way to exercise our rights, it is just one of the many ways to participate in the democratic process. Our duties do not end when the election does, just as the issues affecting us every day are not resolved when a president takes office.

In The Observer’s anonymous political survey, roughly 94% of respondents said that they will be voting in the upcoming presidential election. Most of the other 6% were international students who do not have the right to vote in the United States. Clearly, the stress of the upcoming election has motivated students to engage with politics and exercise their right to vote.  

As students, the Fordham community has a responsibility to remain politically active. Activism and outreach are crucial elements of a functioning democracy, and they do not lose importance over time.

A new politician in office today does not mean all our issues will be resolved tomorrow.

People will continue to be affected by injustices in the United States, and it is our duty to engage and combat these incidents, no matter who our president is. 

Only roughly 15% of respondents to The Observer’s survey said they were confident that their most pressing political issues will be addressed in the next four years. Only 4% said they were very confident. Clearly, most students do not trust that the president will enact the change they want to see. 

This only speaks to the importance of remaining politically active regardless of who is elected. 

While some members of our community have been going above and beyond to address these systemic issues for months and even years, many Fordham students, professors and organizations, including The Observer, have only been paying attention to politics during the election. 

The Fordham community needs to actively engage with politics in a meaningful and long-term way. Even at The Observer, we are publishing an issue dedicated to politics the week before an election. As a newspaper, we need to do better by actively reporting on local elections in NYC and on the ways that local and national legislature affects our community year-round. 

Active political engagement means voting in local elections as well as presidential elections, supporting petitions, marching in protests, contacting state representatives, spreading awareness and continuing to have political conversations with loved ones. 

Regardless of which candidate is elected into office this year, the continued effort of challenging laws and government officials remains central to the fight for structural change on a national level. A new politician in office today does not mean all our issues will be resolved tomorrow. 

Our duty as eligible college-aged voters is to make our voices heard and involve ourselves in the political process, whether we’re in an election year or not. The presidential race is important, but local elections are equally, if not more, imperative to making a difference in the political climate of the nation. To create the change we want to see, we have to be active participants in our democracy.