Learn The Constitution

Saturday, May 31, 2014

6 ways to be an Active American Citizen

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson
Being an active American citizen requires a desire to be informed and to take action.

1. Understand the U.S. Constitution.

“Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.  In one in which the measures of government receive their impression so immediately from the sense of the (people) as in ours, it is…essential.” -George Washington
 Constitution Booklet

Learning the U.S. Constitution is easy. The entire constitution fits in a small U.S. Constitution Pocket Booklet that you can take with you anywhere. Knowing the Constitution will help you better understand your country, and helps you to become a more informed voter.  Make sure you obtain the pocket size booklet of the United States Constitution to keep with you to study when convenient. 

2. Become an informed voter.    

George Washington said, “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.  It is entrusted for limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”

It is your privilege and one of your freedoms to vote.  But, to be an informed voter you must know who you are voting for, and why you want to vote for them. Learn about their background, their experience, what they stand for, how well do they know the U.S. Constitution and proper role of government. 

Each person running for an office should have a website telling about themselves and their views.  Another way to learn more about the candidates running for office is to attend the Meet Your Candidates Night.  You will learn how they stand on the most important issues and why they want your vote.  

3. Be Aware of the Bills Voted On.

Be informed on the bills and laws of our country.
Click here to see all of the bills.

4. Stand Up and Speak Out.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.  The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree. I consider the people who constitute a society or nation as the source of all authority in that nation.  All authority belongs to the people.”

The Constitution is the people’s law for their government leaders.  You must see that your government leaders obey the law.  You do this in the following ways:
  • Attending political meetings, such as your local town hall meetings, your local caucus meetings, meet the candidate nights, Eagle Form Conventions, other political conventions or meetings, etc.
  • Voice your opinion to your Representative, phone calls, emails, petitions, lobby and peaceful demonstrations.  Here is a link to find their email addresses:  http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
  • Run for an office yourself.
5Show Your Patriotism

Go to parades, salute the flag or put your hand over your heart, sing the national anthem or other patriotic songs, visit national memorial sites, talk about how grateful you are for your country, fly the flag, talk to your children and others about American history, give some community service, etc.

6. Stand for Strong Values

George Washington said:  “A primary object…should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important?  And what duty more pressing…than…communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

The Founding Fathers knew it was important for American citizens to become educated and informed. Once informed, it is important to become actively involved. 

Linda N. Hackett

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