Friday, November 07, 2008

Democracy 2.0: The Need for True Advocacy

It can be said that democracy is a two-step process. Yes, its important component is the actual act of voting, that exercise of civic duty that so few of us actually avail ourselves. The other centers on its aftermath: advocacy.

In a country where 64% (this year's rough estimate of nationwide turnout) is the best that one of the standard-bearers of the free society can expect, advocacy is an integral and needed step in ensuring that good government is actually carried out.

While we often forget that these politicians work for us and not the other way around, we must instill in them a sense of accountability for their actions not only in the voting booth (as has been done just this past Tuesday), but each day through contact with our local politicians, state politicians, and those going up to that bureaucratic befuddlement of Washington, D.C. We mustn't rely on others to speak for us. This country's government, as President Lincoln stated at the close of the Gettysburg Address, is one "of the people, by the people, for the people." We mustn't forget this...we must change government ourselves through advocacy if true change is to occur.

Yes, informed consciences are important before the voting process and during it, but so too are they important in deciding the direction of leadership in one's community, great or small, and much greater is the need of active and informed advocacy of those very ones we vote in (or have foisted on us). We mustn't be quiet. We mustn't go quietly into the night. We must organize, continue to organize, and speak out for the change we see needed in a country where change can be abused.

We need informed consciences not to lord things over people. No, we need them to give the Truth to our society. We need to be shepherds of the Truth. We must speak out to injustices and change the way we work as a country. I implore you, do not give up on the second half of democracy—advocacy.

This country is need of it, or we as a nation might just plunge off the cliff of instability or—worse yet—insignificance.

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