Contrary to popular belief, politics isn’t about power but about connection. Each time a constituent calls and shares their story, my colleagues and I become a part of that story. In many cases, their concerns are our concerns. Their calls remind us of the posts our friends make on Facebook and the conversations across the dinner table with our families. For me, that shared candor provides warmth in a world that too many people find cold and lonely since the election.
For a Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill in the age of Trump, the struggle for justice can feel disheartening, if not demoralizing. But with every phone call from a concerned constituent, every tweet in support of our shared resistance, every protest sign held by someone who demands dignity for all, I feel a renewed confidence in the resilience of our democracy. Their activism gives me hope. Their resolve gives me strength. And hopefully, hearing a live voice on the other end of the phone rather than a voice-mail message does a little of the same for them.