August 29th, 2012
Only the citizens informed, engaged and active can return the country to a state of self-governance. We trust the American people locally to decide for themselves.
Only you can save the nation.
80% of Americans believe that the federal government doesn’t have the consent of the governed. Congress has a 6% approval rating. Most Americans believe that the average Congressman can be bought. We vote, and our representatives don’t do the things the public asks them to do. Even on issues of widespread agreement among the American public, the politicians ignore us. Congress is broken. Our national house is on fire. What can we do to save the nation?
We can, and must engage. The citizens founded the country, and we gave the government limited rights to govern. Based on our founding documents, government is given its very legitimacy, and its right to exist, by the citizens. Clearly, the politicians have forgotten this. Unfortunately, so have many of our citizens. We are the sovereigns in America and we must engage and exert our rights as sovereign.
It is critical to the survival of the nation that we engage. This is not a partisan cry. This is not for progressives or conservatives alone. This is not a rallying cry for Democrats or Republicans. This is a siren call to action for all Americans.
First and foremost, we must engage locally. We must talk to our friends and neighbors, and we must work together to take back our city councils and county boards for the citizens. We have to pay attention to our school boards, and the multitude of other commissions, boards and councils that control our civic lives. Government is not something apart from us; government is us. This is true of all government, at all levels. But it is especially true at the local level.
Engagement means more than voting. It means more than watching our favorite partisan news source, listening to our favorite partisan talk radio show or reading our favorite partisan blogs. It means to become involved, and to stay involved in our own governance. It means that each of us must commit to being active citizens. We can no longer be the passive masses.
Contrary to what the politicians want you to believe, you do matter. When you engage, you do make a difference. Yes. Just you. Even alone. One person, addressing a city council, or writing to their Congressman, or voting. You do matter. All of us matter, and all of us must engage.
Smokey the Bear is one of the most successful advertising campaigns in history. According to the Ad Council, 95% of adults and 77% of children in the U.S recognize Smokey the Bear and his message, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires”. With the survival of the nation at stake, perhaps it’s time for a new slogan; “Only You Can Save the Nation.”