Friday, September 29, 2006


Approach two: Reinventing citizenship

What is referred to as "Approach two" in the discussion guide for revitalizing democracy focuses on reinventing citizenship through a web of connections.

Here is a short discription: "Democracy requires the ability to work together on common concerns—civic skills that most people learn in clubs, church groups, and local associations. The public square is emptying because many Americans aren’t making the civic connections that form the habits and sharpen the skills of citizenship."

Have you had an experience that fits with this approach? Or perhaps you know of a club or group that is making and forming these connections? If so, please share.
If our citizens don't have a solid moral foundation they can't be a good citizen. The only way to reinvent citizenship is to get our places of higher learning to teach/instruct from a moral foundation. Instead, what we have now is a foundation of tolerance and a mindset of "invent your own morals." The founding fathers knew that did not work because they had seen it fail in Europe before, just like it is failing in Europe and American now.
There is no need to reinvent citizenship but there is a need to educate Americans as to what it means. That has been forgotten. Oh, by the way, citizenship is not marching in anti-war protests like so many of the baby boomers seem to believe. It is much more than that simple, silly act.
Money and power is what politics and citizenship has become all about.

Politicians will do anything to retain power and money (for themselves or the party). It is all about self-interests.

Interestingly, most American citizens are no different. Citizens will vote for anything if it benefits them individually. That is why senior citizens vote against school taxes (won't help them) but push for increased social security payments and prescription coverage even though both of them are huge expenditures.

We criticize our government for not thinking ahead but most Americans are not better. We vote and act based on short term gains instead of long-term impact.

Citizenship is more than just showing up to vote. Citizenship has to involve understanding the need to "establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty."

None of these things say the work has to be done by the government and none of items require us to make money or gain power as individuals.

What is best for the entire society and culture? That is the question of citizenship and many American's can no longer answer it because they are solely focused on self.
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