"...The real advice that I'd give to people who want to affect policy is to get involved in their party. Don't just be a voter; be a voter plus in some way, whether it's with donations or volunteer time, whether it's with a formal party organization or a campaign or a party-aligned interest group. It's tricky, because the US political system is at the same time impressively permeable (so that you can get involved and relatively quickly gain some influence) while, at the same time, the US is so unfathomably large that there's of course no way for one person to be able to see that influence reflected in national policy-making. Still, it is possible to get a different person chosen to run for Congress in some cases, and it is possible to help push an existing Member to care more about some specific issue. And since individual Members of Congress (especially Senators, but even Members of the House) can really make a difference on ultimate policy, those sorts of choices really do matter."