Happy 4th of July 2019! Politicians and Patriotism

Leading up to this 4th of July, I have been involved in trying to save the pool where my daughter swims. In the course of that journey, we have spoken with all sorts of politicians–County Freeholders, State Assemblymen, and our federal Congressman.

I think it is amazing that we live in a country where we have access to our government officials. Too many people don’t take advantage of that openness to let officials know what they want, what issues are important to them.

We vote in our representatives, but our duty as citizens doesn’t end there. We should tell them what they are doing we like, and what we don’t like. If they are unapproachable in person in their offices, go to public meetings or call or email the offices. People think of doing this when the official is the opposite party from them, but it is perhaps as important to hold the official you voted for to his or her promises. Letters to the editor can also gain a politician’s attention, as they have people who check the media every day.

Democracy is not a passive form of government. We all must not only vote, but pay attention to what the politicians are doing once they are in office. Because (shocker!) some tell us what we want to hear to get elected, and then do the opposite once in power. If they break their promises, we need to let them know, and vote them out if needed.

The thought of speaking to a county or state or federal representative intimidates a lot of people. It’s understandable. We often have to meet them on their terms in their centers of power. But guess what? They are just people, no better than you and me. And guess what else? They work for us. If they don’t work to make things better for us, we can fire them at the ballot box.

So this 4th of July, I am thankful for living in a country where I can make my voice heard. I hope you all speak up and stand up for what you believe in, and remind our elected officials who their bosses really are.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Comments

  1. Carolee Pastorius says:

    Great column, as always. Too often, people complain about things and never try to do something! I am proud of you, Kerry, for being involved… all the best for the pool!
    Aunt Carolee

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