Many people want to be politically active, and there are many strategies to fit your needs.
If you want to be an armchair politician, there are ways to be active from the comfort of your own home. Calling local congressmen and representatives is a great way to get your voice heard, along with sending written letters. You can also sign petitions and donate to movements you support on the internet, giving you the freedom to express your beliefs without actually doing much.
The more active forms are more intense, but many would argue much more satisfying. Participating in rallies and marches can surround you in people of like minds, and you can express your views to counter protesters if you get lucky.
Anarchism is, in it's pure form, a stateless society.
Without a state, the people will make the decisions, not a government. The people assimilate to the ideals they set, and live as individuals. Anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular world view, instead fluxing and flowing as a philosophy. Many types and traditions of anarchism exist, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have often been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications.
Anarchism is typically a far left ideology, meaning it is usually anti-capitalist. Newer strains can be capitalist, but most consider this anti-anarchism as instead of a state ruling people, companies would. People often see anarchism as impractical, but most anarchists reject this notion as they say the people don't need somebody telling them what to do to do the right thing for the community.
All people have ignorance about something, and it is not something to be ashamed of. Learning is a part of life, even when the ignorance is in a political discussion. The part that should be shameful, is when somebody is willfully ignorant. Showing that you don't care about the lives of others is the epitome of human negligence.
Education is the best way to make a society whole. Homophobia and racism plague America today, so coming to understand that people are people can only benefit how we operate. If you come across somebody that is willfully ignorant, simply attempt to educate them, and if they do not accept what you are trying to do for them, pass them by. They are not worth your time and energy.
Conspiracy theories, now in the limelight thanks to the Flat Earth Society, Infowars.com, and others of that strain are being forced to the public eye. The President of the United States even somewhat follows conspiracy theorists, as he has connections to Alex Jones, host of Infowars. These mostly destructive, biased worldviews taint the world, and bring down what healthy conversations about policy should be.
A conspiracy theory is simply "a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event." One of the most famous and extreme examples is that a world government of sorts is convincing people that the world is round, not flat. This flat Earth theory of course goes against all of modern science, and preys upon people's distrust of authority and lack of personal experience. Understanding that conspiracy theories generally have little proof can help to dissuade the negative worldview effects they have.
The destructive power of these 'theories' have been seen throughout history. Recently, climate change has been brought into question, and because of these theories, the globe is becoming warmer and warmer as we decide whether or not countless studies are being made up to trick us somehow. Most recently, the Parkland survivors have been called into question as potential actors, which not only hurts the families and memories of victims, it sets a dangerous precedent for people to call literally any reported news into question. Yes, media can be biased and untruthful, but attacking victims of a traumatic experience is simply destructive.
Staying away from these theories help protect innocent people, and keep your mind straight in the vastness of inter-connectivity the world possesses.
Debate often is a part of politics, and those that hold strong views want to express it. This can have influence in the world, but the negatives of debate have been seen especially in America in recent years.
Debating can help people understand other sides better and open their minds to different ideas, allowing people to bolster their beliefs with better evidence and reason. One does not have to change their mind to experience a good debate, as even if both people leave the debate with the same opinions, they will be altered in some way due to attacks on the ideas. The hotly debated gun control has two general sides: ban guns or keep them legal. Those that debate gun bans should be put in place may leave a debate with the questions "Are guns a right to own?" or "Is a gun the best protection to have against threats?" These questionings of your ideas make debating a good way to open up a conversation and dig into belief.
The cons are also very apparent. Most people leave a debate with some level of anger towards the other side, and are further entrenched in their ideals. Those in the gun control debate will leave thinking "Wow, what an idiot, believing we should just ban all guns," or "Wow what an idiot, believing we should give every one a gun." Understanding that debating mostly gets you no where, depending on who you argue with, has lead me to stay away from the practice for the most part. I know what I believe in, and take criticism to heart if I can. I tend to not see the value in senselessly trying to bring others down for their beliefs, even if I think they are wrong. Education, to me, is the best tool to convince someone of an idea you believe.
Typically characterized as one of the silent killers of a state, political apathy can afflict any body of citizens and cause major damage.
This problem comes about when people do not pay attention to politics, or are 'too busy' to deal with it. Local politics are a great example of this, as most are overlooked and uncared for, people simply don't care about some new turning lane that might benefit the drivers on a road. People simply defer to the 'status quo,' never caring to change how your life operates.
In America, one of the largest voter turnouts in recent memory was for the 2016 presidential election, but only had about 50% of eligible voters at the polls. That means half of the American populous didn't really care about who would be leading the country, and chose to stay home over taking matters into their own hands.
Democracy particularly suffers from this, as large countries have voters feel as though their vote doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, which can slowly degrade a voter's freedom. We all need to at least pay attention and form our own opinions about things, and try to actually care about your local and state governments. This can help your country function better in any form of government you can participate in.
Donald Trump has some really thin ice he is treading on in America, and his apathy toward funding science is a major issue people need to address. He refuses to fund research, refuses to give money to NASA, and refuses to keep what Obama had planned for the future with science research. This is a major issue that is inexcusable in the modern world.
Trump needs to recognize the gravity of what he is doing by putting these research opportunities on hold. This means that scientific progress will go down internationally, and the United States could now easily be on it's decline of being an authority on science. He is so short-sighted and caught up on rash promises he made during his campaign that he would dismantle the most important thing you can do to advance technology. Hating to plan for the long-term just because you won't get elected next cycle hurts America in ways that Trump can not wrap his mind around.
By understanding the processes that happen in the world, not only can humans have a deeper and more fundamental understanding of the universe, but we can use those processes to our benefit, and put them into new technologies to help us further growth. Things like solar energy could take off at a huge rate if more funding an attention was put to it, and we could have a much cleaner Earth, and not have to worry about Climate Change. But, unfortunately, Trump has decided to disregard rising temperature and mounds of empirical evidence and instead opt to bolster coal usage (the most harmful of the fossil fuels, by the way) because of protectionist economic policy.
This sort of thing is not new to the political scene, though. Most presidents in the past use this short term approach to politics, and end up destroying the potential America has as a nation. If Democrats and Republicans could unite on some of these issues, they would not have to keep bickering over the small details, and instead focus on America's future. Just because the Rust Belt is failing because less people want to harm the Earth with fossil fuels doesn't make it okay to make America keep using them. Scientists around the globe are afraid of what Trump may do to the international community, and they have a right to be scared.
So, Trump, if you truly want to "Make America Great Again", do it by helping to advance scientific research and technology, and let the fantastic minds in America solve questions we've always wondered. Let those minds use the answers to those questions bolster advances in technology, and make a better life for all people, not just the 49% of America that voted for you.
The secular and religious states may not have much debate today, but before the American Revolution, it was a heated debate between citizens and politicians. People who want the state to support a religion often want the head of the state (typically a monarch or dictator) to hold the values of a religion, and support it through policy. Advocates of a secular state do not want religion in any government, and support tolerance of all religions.
Most of the countries today push secularism because of Enlightenment ideals spread in the 18 and 19th centuries. Countries in the modern world make sure that people have the freedom to practice whatever religion they please, as long as it is not harming other individuals. This may not sound radical to the average person in the 21st century, but basically all of Europe and Asia was founded on Theocracies. In Europe it was mainly Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity, while in Asia it could be Confucianism, Hinduism, or Buddhism. The switch from these theocracies into religiously free places was a dramatic shift in governmental policy.
There are a few countries that still are not secular, most of them in the Middle East. Iran is one of the biggest ones to have religion in government, as the Islamic Shah controls the country. The Shah is a religious and governmental ruler, and has laws that are directly influenced by the Qur'an and Islamic faith. The other big non-secular state is Saudi Arabia, which has Sharia Law in it's laws, making it so that women have to be covered when they go out in public, and heresy against Islamic faith is prohibited.
Theocracy is not limited to Islam, though that is the best example in today's world. To some extent, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) could be considered a theocracy, as it's laws protect the Cult of Personality around Kim Jong Un. Historical examples can be found everywhere, even in Mesopotamia in the first civilizations. Theocracy typically has a negative connotation in America, but the stability and unifying factors of a religious state can not be discounted. There are always benefits and detriments to every type of government, and to remove bias and look at things objectively, you can start to critique the time period you live in, and the government you live under.
The general ideologies of social liberal/conservative make up most of the popular ideas on how a society should run, and what it should value and seek to take care of.
Social liberalism has taken off in popularity, ever since the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Movement. Today, in America, most people hold socially liberal ideals. The Founding Fathers held these beliefs, and fought for equality for everyone (eventually).
The core values of a social liberal comes from ideas of equality, acceptance, and social freedom. Typically socially liberal people support gay marriage, and some (not all) join feminist/women's rights movements. Democracy typically either follows social liberalism, or allows it to flourish in countries that include it.
The converse to this ideology would be socially conservative, which holds values of traditionalism more so than progressivism, and value religion, moral behavior, and hierarchy. Several social conservatives would go so far as to call themselves Traditionalist, someone who upholds strict gender roles and has very strict ideas on how people should act. This could even be seen as a form of Confucianism.
There is a big divide in America today, as people debate on what people should value, and due to the 2016 election, many have become radicalized, and many people have switched to Antifa/Ancom (if socially liberal), or traditionalist (if socially conservative). That divide may close in a while, but due to the recent actions of President Trump, I do not see it stopping anytime soon.
This will be my personal opinion, not an objective view of an ideology.
I feel that there are major problems with democracy. Most people in the western world herald it for being the best governmental system, and there are no exceptions when it is taught in schools. To me, there are several different discrepencies within democracy; and republics for that matter. Of course, though, no system is perfect.
For one, people are stupid. You need a very educated populous to have democracies work, and in America, we do not have that. It can be annoying when you see a candidate that is either so obviously corrupted, or not fit to be in public office, win. Democracy incentivizes the politicians and those in power to create an ignorant population, so that they will bend to the will of the ruler.
Tyranny of the majority, or 'mob rule' is a very significant side effect of democratic systems. An example of this is the very split opinion of the American people on abortion. There is no appeasing the people on this issue, and the votes for/against can be as close as 51% vs 49%. In the case of a democracy, the 51% would rule, even though virtually half disagree.
Democracy also fundamentally can not be as efficient as autocratic rule. The time it takes to elect rulers and pass laws through congress is not efficient enough to keep up with the changes that can happen in a country. This can be seen in many countries today, as congressional establishments scurry to update laws and regulation.
Overall, democracy has many faults that are intrinsic to the system. They can not necessarily be solved, and can seriously hurt the people it tries to free. Though it does provide a certain degree of power to everyone, that does not mean that giving that power is a good thing. People do not recognize what they have, and it only makes politicians find loopholes in the system.