Jennifer Lawless on why you — yes, you — should run for office
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There are 500,000 elected positions in the United States. I’ll say that again: 500,000. And that’s no accident. “Our political system is built on the premise that running for office is something that a broad group of citizens should want to do,” writes political scientist Jennifer Lawless.But Lawless’s research reveals something scary — something that helps explain the political moment we’re in. Participating in politics has begun to repulse the average America. 89 percent of high schoolers says they’ve already decided they will never run for office. 85 percent doubt elected officials want to help people. 79% don’t think politicians are smart or hardworking. And when good, normal people turn away from politics, the system breaks down.Well, be the change you want to see in the world. Lawless is the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. Her recent book, along with co-author Richard Fox, is “Running from Office: Why Young Americans Are Turned Off to Politics.” Her work, which…