Change won't come without personal responsibility

Posted: Monday, February 01, 2010

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 clearly states that "governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." In essence this means we the people give our representatives power to run our government.

In reality this means we, as a populace, are in control of the United States government.

In the last few days two issues came to light that should solidify this rather than sweep it under the rug.

One: The Supreme Court ruled that corporations may spend unlimited dollars supporting political candidates. Many believe this to be the chunk of sky falling on the American ideal.

This statement is patently incorrect and, in essence, disrespectful to the citizens of this, the greatest nation on this planet. When was the last time that any of us who voted sold our vote to the highest bidder?

Shouldn't we, as freethinking, free-feeling American citizens, stand up and rail against those who even suggest that our votes are for sale?

Of course those who advocate this form of Chicken Little thinking will tell us that whomever spends the most money wins. And that is hard to argue. Time and time again we do see that the one who spends the most money wins.

We must ask why that is so. Is this emotional or logical reasoning?

Two: In the State of the Union Address President Obama stated that trust does not exist between the people and elected officials.

Bob McDonnell, Republican Governor from Virginia, commented in his rebuttal that government leaders should listen to the people.

It is understandable that comfortable elected officials should pander to such emotional rhetoric, especially when it is clearly understood that only 20 to 30 percent of those of us who should be exercising our Constitutional responsibilities take those responsibilities seriously and visit the voting booth.

We must not as American citizens, from whom the elected derive their just powers, continue to blame others in the form of corporations and life-long politicians for our personal, national and international problems. In fact it is irresponsible for us, as a populace who do not exercise our Constitutional rights, to continue to do so.

In assigning blame to others, instead of ourselves, we give power where power has no right.

Corporations do not buy elections. We give them away by lack of Constitutional responsibility.

We will not see the change we seek in our government until we take personal responsibility, stop blaming others for our shortcomings, and do the job our forefathers entrusted to us.

Until we, as responsible adults, go to the voting booth and take our Constitutional responsibility seriously in the hiring and firing of our elected officials, both on the local and national level, we can only truthfully admit that we will continue to get exactly what we deserve in our complacency.

Michael Gustkey


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