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Rant: Civic Engagement and Efficacy

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Rant: Civic Engagement and Efficacy

Matthew Haufe, Opinions Editor

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In the past year, American politics have changed in ways no one could have ever imagined. Political tradition and courtesy is all but gone as the American people want a change in the way our government runs.

The American people first spoke of this change when they elected Donald Trump, an entrepreneur and reality television star, to be the 45th President of the United States. This is unlike any president this country has ever seen, and the most politically inexperienced since Woodrow Wilson. It is clear that the people wanted a change.

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, almost everyone nowadays has an opinion on our 45th president. Whether the opinion is good or bad, it is entirely up to you. However, I have been seeing an increased number of posts on both Twitter and Facebook complaining about the policies of the Trump administration. Now, people from both sides of the aisle have a right to complain and question, however I do not think Facebook nor Twitter are the right place to rant about new policies.

If you have such an opinion on a topic that might frustrate you or praise the administration, social media is not the place to put your ideas. A lot of people do not know this, but you can call directly into the office of your local member of Congress, whether that be a state senator or representative. They often have open phone lines for the American people. Instead of ranting on Facebook about the policies, why don’t people just use their resources directly? Personally, I have directly called my local congressman’s office multiple times since inauguration day. Why do other people not follow suit?

A lot of people may rebut the claim that to call your representative directly would have no impact on the actual way this country is governed. And to that, I say to have efficacy. Efficacy is the belief that you, as an individual, can make a difference in society. This trait ensures the belief that you can make a difference in this country.

Levels of civic engagement are at an all time high, while efficacy is at a record low. Using resources effectively can  allow differences to be made  in this Trump administration, but a simple call to your congressman’s office can truly make a difference.

Below is a list of all of the names and phone numbers of  congressman and state representatives for the state of Illinois and Lake County. I encourage you to save these numbers in your phone and to call them frequently if you have any ideas or suggestions for them, because they truly take your voice into consideration. You can also text your zip code to the number 520-200-2223 to get the numbers texted directly to you.

 

Senator Tammy Duckworth: 202-224-2854

Senator Richard J. Durbin: 202-224-2152

Representative Bradley Scott Schneider: 202-225-4835

State Senator Pamela J. Althoff: 217-782-8000

State Representative Barbara Wheeler: 217-782-1664

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Rant: Civic Engagement and Efficacy