1) Continue on my current path of stomping my feet and yelling now and then about my values, values which seem to line up reasonably well with the Democratic party's platform. Problem with that: Me = Preacher. People who listen to me = choir. Effective = no.
2) Go back to the way I used to feel. Just pull my own emotions and intellect completely out of politics as a whole; stick my political head in the sand. This does nothing for the effects of local and national politics on my life, but at this point it's hard to believe that any action I could possibly take would make a difference. I mean, I voted my heart out on Tuesday and because I live in Kansas, and because I apparently live in a nation the majority of which, to quote unhappymeal, has "morals which are contrary to my own", my vote was almost useless. (Sure, it's nice to say that I contributed to the 48% so that we could say "look how divided the country is, look how many people don't want Bush back", but a) I wasn't really part of the 48%, was I? I was part of the 30% or whatever of Kansans that voted for Kerry. and b) that 48% didn't make a damn bit of difference in the end.) What sticking my political head in the sand does do for me is to allow me not to be emotionally invested in the outcomes. It's the whole "I'm 19 and I don't care because I don't think my voice is loud enough and besides none of this affects me anyway" attitude.
I came to that attitude, interestingly, after being a staunch conservative Republican for a long time and eventually just deciding that politics was a never-ending bicker-fest between two different camps of powermongers. For a long time I didn't trust a single word that came out of a politician's mouth; I assumed everything they said was self-serving in some way or another. I still have my suspicions about that, but for a while I put them aside. I decided to pay attention to this year's election, and in the last few months came to the discovery that the Democratic point of view lined up FAR better with issues that actually mattered to me than the Conservatives, so I changed my mind, began paying attention, and chose to suspend my disbelief of politicians in general and place a bit of trust in Kerry and the left. They didn't let me down, but unfortunately along with that trust I also allowed myself to hope, and at this point that's a raw wound.
Point is, it's highly tempting to revert back to that perspective. The only problem with that is that logic doesn't allow it: I tried that already. I tried giving a sh!t about politics from a Right wing perspective, I tried not giving a sh!t at all, and now I've tried giving a sh!t from the Left. None of these things have worked out for me, although not giving a sh!t came awfully close.
There's one option left that I haven't tried yet.
3) I could get more involved. STUPID involved. ACTIVE involved. I couldn't actually run for a position - I have a felony, bad credit, and too much other bullsh!t that would kill my credibility. But that wouldn't stop me from being some sort of campaign manager or advisor or something. I'd want to have some kind of very active and involved position, but it could start smaller. I'd want it to be local.
Problems: I don't think I have the motivation to put the time or energy into it. Also, I think I'd get easily discouraged by how hard it is to change some people's minds.
I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud. I haven't decided what to do yet.