In recent months I have become more and more vocal politically, and this activism has led to some interesting conversations. Something that seems to be surfacing as an almost universal constant is an unwillingness to be civically involved at any level.

Almost everyone I speak to says that they vote. And most of them will almost simultaneously espouse the reason they cast their vote is so that they have, “the right to complain”, but those very same people refuse to become engaged, citing that, “it does no good.”

When those same people are asked, many do not really seem to know why they voted for whom they voted for to begin with, beyond party line divisions; and I have only encountered the smallest handful that has any clue how the candidate they helped elect is performing on the job.  

So tell me again…how is it that voting (alone) gives one the right to complain about anything at all in this society?

I read a very good article today that makes a strong case for abstaining from voting altogether. Here is an excerpt: “…if you decide to pull that lever…to participate and be counted, what you’re really doing is empowering a system that has tested the waters of breaking constitutional boundaries…and allowing the process to continue on its current trend of moving further and further away from being a constitutional republic to a gang of corrupt, self aggrandizing globalists who are quite comfortable having their cocktail party lifestyle funded by the shrinking middle class which loves to believe in their government and politics. They’ve gotten away with it. There was no military coup, no revolution. So like serial criminals, their confidence grows as they think, let’s see what else we can get away with.”   Cited from:  Is it Your Civic Duty Not to Vote”, by Peter Ruble: August 13, 2008

While I certainly agree that a politician is (generally speaking) – a politician. I do not agree that the situation is helpless…unless action stops at the voting booth. If it does, then Mr. Ruble is right and we may as well sit at home and not participate at all. Why? Because we live in a country that was created by the People, with a government of the People “…sufficiently strong and flexible to meet the needs of the republic …” and for the People, “…sufficiently limited and just to protect the guaranteed rights of citizens …”

As the “People”, We ARE the government (rather, we are supposed to keep it in check). We live in a country rooted in the notion that personal responsibility is the oil that allows the machine to work properly. Take away the oil, and the machine will break down…eventually. And I would argue the oil has been absent long enough that the machine is beginning to smoke. Soon the gears will seize up altogether unless we do something.  

The President is correct in his statements that we, “…must act now!”, but not to create new laws, or expand government. We have to hold our elected officials (all of them) accountable. We must provide the oversight, and keep the politicians on task. And if they fall down on the job, or if they break their oath of office then We have to remind them they serve at our pleasure, as it is the People that are to be empowered… and the government that is to be limited.

And on those days when you feel like you are trying to dig a foxhole with a plastic spoon in rocky soil, call to mind, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds…”  Samuel Adams