The Cost of Freedom by Patty Kubetz
When we think of the cost of freedom, our thoughts generally turn to our military personnel who are serving, have served, or have paid the ultimate price. How many also think of the cost we, as citizens, also bear?
I'm talking about the civic duty we owe to our country, state, community and our fellow Americans. We owe it to our children, parents, military, and ourselves,to be as involved as possible in the preservation of our “inalienable rights” as the Constitution states.
This debt is one we deepen when we don't know enough about our candidates, don't take time to learn about the issues we vote on or have our representatives at every level of government vote on for us. It deepens when we don't educate ourselves and others on the real issues, the truth behind the news headlines, the real state of our country, state and community. Look at the last presidential election; many people did not take the time to research the candidates. Many people just voted for a slogan, “Change.” Ask yourself how that is working for America. When we aren't willing to give of ourselves a small portion, when we give others the authority to make our decisions for us without our input, we become willing slaves to whatever that authority decides is best. Have you quietly handed your responsibilities as a citizen of this nation to someone else because you “didn't have time,” “didn't know enough,” “don't have an interest in it,” or “don't care?” Be honest with yourself.
This once-great nation needs “We the People” now more than ever. It matters not if you affiliate yourself with the Republicans, Democrats, or no party at all. There is more to your civic duty that marking a box on a ballot or pulling a lever. What does the candidate stand for? Does the candidate listen to you? Who does the candidate represent—their party or you? Have you spoken with them? Ask yourself these questions and find the answers—and don't just get the information from one. Be aware of who you're getting your information from, get it from the original source.
This is your call to action. Many of you are probably wondering how to get involved. Attend City Council and School Board meetings, attend debates and discussion forums, learn who your candidates are and what they stand for, and especially important, educate yourself and others. The library is free and has many resources available.
Only by exercising our Constitutional rights will we retain them. Get involved at any level you can. You can make a difference.
Wisconsin Citizen's Involvement, a local non-profit, non-partisan, citizens group, will be sponsoring a Question and Answer Forum with the three candidates running for District 27 Assembly Seat. Watch for more details in next week's paper. Visit their blog at http://wisconsincitizens.blogspot.com/ to find out more about the group and for more information on the upcoming forum.