Americans Need a Broader View of Citizenship

Our view of citizenship has become skewed. We look more at our rights than our responsibilities. When individuals or special interest groups want something, they claim it is their right. And, we expect the government to take on what should be our responsibilities.

The Declaration of Independence promises "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". We have become more interested in our "pursuit of happiness" than keeping our country safe ('life') and free ('liberty'). We have forgotten that if we do not fulfill our responsibilities, we will have no rights.

Most Americans see citizenship as voting, jury duty, and occasional community service. Keeping a democracy strong demands much more. We as citizens must be vigilant and involved. We must each take small actions on a day-to-day basis, let's call them citizen actions, that help keep our democracy strong and thus the country free..

 "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but rather the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." – Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.