Regardless of your personality type, religious background, nationality, gender, sexual preference, political leaning or income level, you are first a human being. If you’re in this country, benefiting from a democratically organized and administered society (legally or undocumented) … you are still a human first–deserving of respect!
As a citizen, defined by Merriam-Webster as: “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it”, there is an inherent obligation by each citizen to be a loyal participant of that society, its laws, and the practices of administering it’s “govern”-ment. Government is defined as: “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” Our system is set up to allow both federally through elections, and locally through legislatures, councils, boards, and committees.
It is unfortunate how few people vote in our country when so much is at stake. What I find even more appalling is how many people choose to get their information for decision-making from unsupported claims posted on social media outlets, hot-heads on talk-radio, and biased daily news shows.
How can YOU participate and be an active contributing citizen of our society?
Before new Federal laws are implemented, they are posted for public review and comment by anyone with access to a web browser (which is everyone, because public libraries have computer labs.) If you’ve never visited the site–it can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/ No excuses for any of us to complain that we never had a say (for or against) legislation that has become law.
Every state has a website to make public the issues and legislation being proposed. In my own state that site is: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/ Google your state name and the word Legislature to find your state government’s administrative resources. My state has a link to live-streaming of legislative sessions. You can search for your congress or senate representatives, schedule an appointment to take a tour, view the legislative calendar, view past transcripts, or find telephone numbers to speak with your representatives.
Of course there is always traditional media (Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBCNews and the other major news networks) to help you evaluate elected officials backgrounds and attempt understanding the issues being discussed. But as you may realize, there is a LOT of spin on what is being presented as “truth” (sound bites pieced together to lead you to believe something shocking–yet totally out of context). You also should not be duped into believing everything you read. If you want to be an informed citizen and vote by fact, not feeling…here are a couple of other sites you might consider:
November 8th is right around the corner. Depending upon what news you read, you just might believe that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. There is a lot wrong in our government, but it is still a lot better than most governments. There is always room for improvement, but it requires we be engaged, aware, involved, actively participating in this democracy.
Just because you hopefully voted during the last election cycle does not mean your job as a citizen is done. You must observe your government in action and participate in this democracy to make it work for you. If you don’t approve of local, state or federal decisions, use the processes put in place for you to engage and make your voice heard. The links provided in this post are a starting point.
If you do not like the current state of government at the state or federal level, you have a right…no, a responsibility, to get involved and contribute. Regardless of what you think of her, Elizabeth Warren said it best, “a constitution does not sustain itself.” Prove your loyalty to this great nation, educate yourself and get involved.