Letter: Just participate
Each July 4 offers us a unique opportunity to celebrate our national birthday with a little barbecue and a moment of reflection.
Even the most casual reading of the Declaration of Independence reveals two powerful principles: the idea that “governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed,” and the unwavering belief that all men, not just a small percentage at the top, but “all men are created equal.”
So, where do we stand now?
Today’s legislators seem to derive their powers not from the governed but from a small group of financial contributors, which makes that small group a lot more equal than the rest of us.
Democracy is a difficult goal to achieve and requires constant attention. There are people out there trying to reclaim those original goals: the Tea Party thinks smaller government is the answer; the Occupy movement focused on Wall Street and old fashioned sit-ins; and a newer group, Represent Us, is using legislation – the American Anti-Corruption Act – specifically designed to reduce the influence of money in politics.
In the end, the privilege of being an American comes with the responsibility of participating in the process. So, enjoy your barbecue, join a group that appeals to you, and happy birthday to us.