Being A Good Citizen in 2017

By Gaylon Kent

No matter what your political affiliation, it is difficult to deny that right now we are living in times that are as momentous as they are tumultuous.

Times in America have often been tumultuous because America has never been perfect. Everyone who is not a white, land-owning, generally Protestant, male has had to fight for every gain, battles that are, of course, still being fought.

But never has this nation been closer to collapse. Our perpetual wars, the fact we are functionally broke and $20 trillion in debt and our bitter social divisions will destroy this country, probably before this half-century is out, if we don’t make substantive changes to the way we are governed.

In his first few weeks in office, President Donald Trump has given no indication he is going to make those changes. Indeed, there is no prospect of peace, our finances will continue to be a nightmare and our national divide is only going to deepen the next four years.

There is every prospect of the continued chaos that has been the hallmark of the first weeks of the Trump Administration. There is zero prospect of making substantive progress the next four years. Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, America will be marking time.

What can we do? Glad you asked. Listen up:

Step One: We must acknowledge that our country needs us. Leaving our nation in the hands of the status quo will result in the same lousy government we’ve been getting. Only concerned and conscientious citizens like you and me will make America great again.

The status quo will change nothing.

Step Two: Stay informed. We must pay attention to what our government is doing to us. Regardless of the party in power and regardless of your political leanings, there is no substitute for concerned and conscientious citizens staying informed.

Step Three: Take action. Protest. Write your Congressman and Senator. Go to their town hall meetings. If you’re really moved, run for office. That’s how I protest. I don’t like the direction my country is taking and I have solutions to offer, so I’ve run for both the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

More than anything:

Be prepared to be a demanding and participating citizen next year in the 2018 midterm elections.

There is no substitute for demanding and participating citizens hold their leaders accountable. Support something other than the status quo, because the status quo has caused this mess. Fill out your ballot knowing that the government we want, a government that can truly make America great again, is as close as the next election.

Friends, our government, as always, is in our hands. It is not in the hands of the media, the lobbyists or the incumbents, although it might seem that way sometimes. Our government belongs to us, you and me, we the people. All we have to do is stay informed and stay involved.

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