Editorial: The need for change doesn’t end when elections do

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People line up to vote on Election Day at the Matin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Daniel Schwalm

As we publish this editorial, we don’t yet know the winner of the presidential election. We’re all holding our breath, waiting for the result. The uncertainty is overwhelming. But there is one thing we know for certain: no matter who wins, nothing ends here.

Especially if Joe Biden wins, you might be tempted to disengage from politics after this election. You’re probably exhausted. We all are. But you have to stay involved. You have to keep fighting.

No matter who wins, nothing is going to be fixed tomorrow.

We have to keep educating ourselves, keep advocating, keep protesting. This year has shown us the power that normal people have to influence our country when we act together. We need to maintain the same energy that we have seen in protests in support of Black lives and climate justice and in efforts to fight voter suppression.

If we let ourselves slip into complacency, our government will be all too eager to join us in inaction. We have to keep pressure on our leaders to make change.

So stay involved in politics. Read the news. Read local news. Reading the news is how you stay informed, and staying informed is the first step toward holding your government accountable. When citizens don’t pay attention to their government, corruption and inaction go unchecked.

Vote in every election, not just presidential ones. Every level of government plays a role in people’s everyday lives. Don’t underestimate the importance of voting in state and local elections.

Keep being an activist. Share information with those around you about causes that are important to you. Get involved in protests and advocacy.

Research and get involved in organizations that work toward causes you’re passionate about, causes that motivated you to turn out to the polls. There are countless organizations both on campus and in the local community at large that you can get involved with beyond election season.

Go to local government meetings. Most are open to the public, and one voice can make a huge difference. It’s hard not to feel powerless in the face of massive, systemic problems. But when we give up, we surrender what power we do have.

No matter what happens in the coming days, the need to keep fighting won’t go away. Change is constant. Make sure you’re part of the right kind of change.

This election is not the end. It’s a new beginning. Stay aware. Stay involved. Don’t stop now.

This editorial represents the majority opinions of The Maroon’s editorial board and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Loyola University. The Maroon does not represent the opinion of administration, staff and/or faculty members of Loyola.