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How do you enter politics?

I am 8th grader from Arizona who is interested in politics, I want to know how enter?
Is college worth it for a political career?

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Debbie’s Answer

Hey Ryder! How can I make my way into the world of politics?

How can I establish myself in politics?
Here's a roadmap to help you navigate your way into politics:
1. Equip yourself: Before diving into a political career, take a moment to evaluate if you possess the essential skills and qualifications.
2. Participate actively: Volunteering and internships are great ways to gain hands-on experience and build connections.
3. Be a party member: Joining a political party can provide you with the platform to voice your ideas and beliefs.
4. Engage in local governance: Involvement in local government is a stepping stone to understanding how the system works.
5. Take the leap: Consider running for an office. It’s a bold step, but it's also the most direct way to make a difference.
6. Stay updated: Keep abreast of current affairs and political developments. Knowledge is power in this field.

Remember, every journey begins with a single step. You've got this!
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Ryder
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Hassan’s Answer

I'd suggest that you start now by joining school clubs and if available your student government. This will get you experience and an idea if you even like politics. You can do the same in High School and also college.

Beyond that, Debbie has a good answer on how to take the next steps to get into 'professional' politics.
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Jerry’s Answer

First, You live in a very politically interesting state. If you don't know that, I wouldn't bother getting involved in politics.

Second. I taught in higher education for thirty-eight years. Then I retired. Then I got lucky. I taught in a middle school for ten years. I found that you people are very special. Middle schoolers just don't know it. Academically, that is. The most important thing I discovered was that most middle schoolers perform way below their ability. They just don't know it.

How do you enter politics?

Go out there and volunteer for your local political party organization.

Which one? That's up to you. First step is doing some research. Follow the news (I read about AZ politics in the national news.). This takes some work. Spend a month learning what's going on politically in your state. It's not that hard. Get yourself into a routine of doing so. Read the papers. Better than watching the news. It won't take long and you'll find yourself leaning toward one particular political party.

Do a little more research and find out where their local organization is located. I don't know where in the state you live. There may not be an office as such in your area. But there are people who meet and organize activities. Make it a point to locate these people and meet them. Study up on the issues. Initially they may not be all that interested in a mere eighth grader. Prove them wrong. Be eager. As in interviewing for a job. Dress appropriately.

If you do it right (know the issues and appear eager and they are comfortable with you, they will find you something to do). It may not be much. It may be boring. But do whatever with enthusiasm. You'll learn a lot. And you may learn a lot about yourself and what you're capable of. It just may be more than you think you are capable of at this moment.

College? University? Absolutely. Even if you stay with politics as a career, a degree at an institution of higher learning isn't just a piece of paper. If one approaches it correctly, there is a wealth of information and ideas to be picked up and it becomes a part of you as a person. And the more developed you become, the more you have to offer yourself and others. Especially in the world of politics. There was only one United States President who didn't go to college: Harry S Truman. But by the time he left high school he had read every book in his local library. And he had very bad eyesight. He memorized the eye chart so he could pass the eye exam to become a soldier in WW I.

Eighth grader? Show them that you are more than what most people think an eighth grader is. And get involved.

But that's up to you.
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Daniel’s Answer

Hey Ryder, I think there are 2 keys to become a politician with a strong base:

1. Become an organizer: people in your street, your community, your city, your state and your country are always facing big challenges that are common to us all. You add value as a politician by organizing people to tackle those challenges. Try to find spaces in which you can learn how to organize. Eventually, once you've learned some of the things required, find new problems that need organizing as well!

2. You are a representative: people are going to trust you with representing them. You should understand really well what it is that those people care about, worry about and dream about. Then you have to make it your life's mission to address those issues, fix those worries and fulfill those dreams.

Best,
Daniel
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Ryder!

It's fantastic to see an 8th grader from Arizona like you taking an interest in politics! 🚀 Here are some steps you can consider to kick-start your journey into the political landscape:

1. **Knowledge is Power**: Start by learning about various political ideologies, current affairs, and the political system in your country. This will equip you with a good understanding of politics and help you make well-informed decisions when the time comes.

2. **Community Engagement**: Participate in clubs or organizations that resonate with your interests. This could be debate clubs, student government, or volunteer groups. These experiences will help you hone your leadership skills, learn teamwork, and connect with people who share similar interests.

3. **Educational Foundation**: Although a college degree isn't a must for a political career, it can certainly help deepen your understanding of political theories, historical events, and social sciences. Plus, a college degree might open up more job prospects in the political field.

4. **Networking and Experience**: Attend political events, join political parties, and network with politicians and professionals in the field. This will help you forge relationships and gain valuable experience that can pave the way for future opportunities.

5. **Internships**: Consider internships offered by political organizations. They provide a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and make valuable industry connections.

6. **Register to Vote**: Once you turn 18, don't forget to register to vote in local, state, and federal elections. It's a crucial way to make your voice heard and actively participate in the democratic process.

7. **Stay Informed and Engaged**: Keep up with current events, read newspapers, and watch political news to stay updated about what's happening in your community and the world.

As for whether a college degree is necessary for a political career, it's not a straightforward yes or no. It depends on your career goals and the path you wish to take. Here are some pros and cons for you to consider:

**Pros**:

- A college education can provide a solid foundation in political theories, historical events, and social sciences, which can be beneficial for a political career.
- A college degree may open up more job opportunities, especially if you're aiming for executive government roles or high-level positions within political organizations.
- College can offer networking and experience gaining opportunities, which can be valuable for a political career.

**Cons**:

- A college education isn't a requirement for a political career, and many successful politicians have made it without one.
- The cost of college tuition and student loans can be a significant financial burden, and it may take years to pay off.
- Some argue that the political system isn't always merit-based, and connections and wealth can sometimes play a larger role in getting elected than education.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue a college education for a political career is a personal one, depending on your goals, financial situation, and the specific career path you're considering.

To back up this answer, I suggest the following authoritative reference books:

- “The American Political System” by David M. Crawford and William N. Dunn (2019)
- “Politics in the United States” by Robert E. Mutch and J. Michael Hogan (2019)
- “The Oxford Handbook of Political Science” edited by Michael C. Desch and James R. Levin (2019)

These books provide a comprehensive overview of the political system in the United States and the field of political science.

I hope this guidance helps you on your exciting journey into the world of politics, Ryder! 💪

Take care and God bless,
James.
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