Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2013, 2:56 pm
Letter: It’s responsibility of citizens to learn about government
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"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people and for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed."
Those are the beginning words of "The American's Creed," written by William Tyler Page in 1917, and accepted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1918.
How do we obtain the consent of the governed?
By holding elections!
It is the responsibility of United States citizens, whether by birth or through naturalization, to become informed voters and decide who should be our leaders.
One way to ensure an informed electorate would be to require that natural-born citizens pass the same test required for naturalized citizens before registering to vote.
Or high school students could be required to complete a comprehensive government class in order to graduate.
Since neither of those is likely, it is up to each citizen to seek information about our government.
Since we declared our independence in 1776, thousands of patriots have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation, its basic principles and Constitution.
To honor their memory and ensure that our "democracy in a republic" will stay alive and thrive for generations to come, it is both our privilege and responsibility to vote.
In summary, each of us is responsible to help bring about the closing words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "... that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."