Americans today are bombarded with a dissonance of political voices in the media, by politicians and even in their religious institutions. While many people in the United States out of necessity concern themselves only with the daily aspects of living and not with the political realm of the country, there are some both on the far left and the far right that work diligently to force their agenda upon the whole nation. The end result is usually disastrous for the country.
What can I do?, asks the ordinary American when faced with this onslaught of political activism. Some in this nation live in families where both the father and mother are working, or in single parent families and believe they have no time to even think about the ramifications of government policy as they try valiantly to support themselves and their families. Many are struggling just to get by and have little desire to involve themselves in politics, or if they do they seek some advantage from government. Some believe that the sum total of their civic duty to the nation is to vote on election day for the candidate that promises them the most. Others would rather just stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best.
Those that run for office and those that govern understand these sentiments only too well. They count on them. Yet, action by government affects the daily lives of every American every day. Every American has a vested interest in government. The cost of any government action is born by the American People. So then, what can an average American do to have an influence on the effects of government?
Read the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These charter documents were written to be read by all Americans, not just politicians and lawyers. They are readily available, short in length, easily understood though often misinterpreted and are the foundation of our American government and way of life.
Decide to take a few minutes each day to keep abreast of the workings of government by other than mainstream media. There are many internet sites that are government factual only such as the Thomas (Library of Congress), Congressional Budget office, Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and many many more like these. Every government agency or department has a website. Just a few minutes a day can enlighten anyone about their government.
There are two sides to every issue. Take the time to examine both sides no matter the issue. No person of principle will ever be changed by examining the other sides position and a solid understanding of the opposition can solidify your position.
Make an effort to contact your representatives in local, state and federal government on a regular basis to inform them of your opinions and thoughts on policies, laws, proposed laws and the job they are doing. If they are doing it well, tell them. If they are doing it poorly, tell them. No politician can read minds. It is up to you to give them your opinions. After all, they represent you.
All of these suggestions should take no more than an hour or so a week if that much. With so much at stake it should be the civic duty of every American to keep tabs on what their government is doing. The government debt is over $53,000 for each and every American. We as Americans can no longer afford to have government be something that is done to us. We must make our government of us, by us and for us. Now is not the time to stand aside. Now is the time to learn, stand up, speak up and get involved. Perhaps Joseph Warren best described our Civic duty in his oration on the Boston Massacre on March 6, 1775. His words apply as much to us today as they did to the People in Boston in 1775:
“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
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