There are many benefits of political action. In this first part, we’d like you to talk yourself into doing a small amount of regular political action.
Exercise 1: Incentives for Action
Read through the following list of reasons to become politically active. Check off the reasons that you find significant. Then prioritize the top four or five reasons.
__ Things will just get worse if decent people do nothing.
__ It’s my duty to vote and stay informed so that I vote intelligently.
__ I don’t want to be embarrassed by my current political ignorance.
__ If someone gets into office whom I dislike, I don’t want to feel guilty because I didn’t help the candidate I liked.
__ I believe that if a large number of the American public gets involved, government will gradually become more effective, and my quality of life will improve. I believe that “raindrops make rivers, and rivers can move mountains.”
__ I believe that Americans need to get involved politically so that America’s standard of living will not drop (through lower educational levels, poorer infrastructure such as roads and public health service, through increased crime, etc.)
__ I am concerned that if I and a majority of Americans don’t participate politically, then power will be concentrated in the hands of a few people.
__ I believe that Americans need to get involved politically to keep America from becoming vulnerable (economically from competition, and militarily from terrorists or rogue nations).
__ There are people and/or policies that I really don’t like. I want to learn how to block these people and policies with the least effort.
__ I buy the idea that I’ve already invested hundreds or thousands of dollars through taxes, and so a little political activity will help me get the most from my investment.
__ I believe that political involvement is an important way for me to help others who are in need.
__ I accept the idea that “ongoing problems require ongoing solutions,” and so I accept the necessity of doing a little political action on a regular basis.
__ I want to feel good about doing my duty. I know that this is the patriotic thing to do. Many people risked their lives or gave their lives for my freedoms. I believe that becoming politically active is one of the best ways to defend and protect America — to fight for my country.
__ I see this as a wise long-term investment for me and my family.
__ I know that being able to speak intelligently about my political beliefs will impress people, and not knowing anything will make me look ignorant.
__ (some other reason) ____________________________________________________
Part Two: What are the top five strongest incentives for political participation — for you? Please list them, and then rate them from strongest to weakest.