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In the early 1980s, I attended a convention in Fairbanks, Alaska, as a delegate of my political party. After listening to so much negative discussion without any positive suggestions or solutions, I asked those other delegates, “What are you for?"

My question caused them to pause and say that I had made a good point. We need to look at what is good as well as focus on what should change.

It is not enough to be against a particular elected official. The Democratic and the Republican parties must work together and come up with reasonable solutions to the problems facing the United States. Compromise and cooperation are lacking in the political forum today. We as voters should demand of Congress and the President to act for the benefit of all citizens. Too often special issues with influential lobbies get in the way and the results are not in our best interest.

Many of us feel powerless in the wake of big government, special interest groups, corruption and biased news reporting and respond by withdrawing from action. But apathy can be as destructive an anarchy. It is up to us as individuals to be engaged in what is happening locally, nationally, and internationally. Our democracy works only when we citizens take responsibility for being active in the process.

There are many ways to be an involved citizen. Contact your legislators, sign petitions, participate in peaceful demonstrations, and most importantly – vote! If we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem.

MARGARET VAN CLEVE

Flagstaff

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