Former President Gerald Ford had a really good quote years ago. I stole it from a book called Write It When I’m Gone, by Thomas DeFrank, a reporter who had covered Ford as vice president. Ford said:
Government will continue to be about as good as concerned and conscientious citizens make it.
True enough. These words cut to the heart of our American experience because when concerned and conscientious citizens hold those governing accountable the people will generally be well governed. Those governing know if they do not govern well they will not govern for long.
Similarly, when those governing are not held accountable, they will tend to do whatever consolidates their wealth and power. When us citizens are not particularly concerned or conscientious no one should die of shock when they find themselves with a partisan, fractured and bickering government.
Which is what we have right now. We have not been holding anyone, including ourselves, accountable and as a result we are over $20 trillion in debt with a tax code that even confuses the IRS.
We are despised the world over.
A bit less than 15 percent of Americans need government help putting food on the table and a lot of our fellow citizens, perhaps even you, are either working one job that isn’t quite full-time, or are working a couple of jobs to make ends meet, something I’ve found myself doing at times the past few years.
I believe you and me – we the people – are entitled to better.
We are entitled to a country that has a flourishing economy anchored in low taxes and free markets.
We are entitled to an income tax experience that does not fill us with dread and takes too much of our money.
We are entitled to a country other nations respect.
More than anything we are entitled to good government because good government will make everything else happen.
We don’t have good government right now and we are not going to have it until we start demanding it on Election Day. We have a collective responsibility – to ourselves, to our country and, really, to a world waiting for an America it can respect again – to become demanding and participating voters.
Friends, I love our country and our fellow citizens as much as you do but, frankly, we are not a demanding and participating electorate right now. It is popular around election time to blame incumbents, the media and lobbyists but the bottom line is when the time comes to cast our ballots, we are the ones that did the voting. There were no obstacles between us and the government we want. Nobody filled our ballots out for us; the responsibility for our government is ours. We will continue to get substandard government because if we’re not demanding change, why should Congress deliver it?
The Bottom Line: The American Way has always been about personal responsibility. When we start holding ourselves and our leaders accountable on Election Day we will find the country and government we want is there for the taking.
Friends, the remainder of the book costs $4.99 to read. Click here to buy. All proceeds go to the campaign.