The Concept of Earning One’s Citizenship
Citizenship is defined as a being a citizen or a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state. Citizen preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people. The concept of which in one of its earliest was given to us by the Romans, who had just began to understand the importance of a populace contributing to the decisions of its own fate. Modern American citizenship as we know it today was defined for us in the constitution of this nation by the founding fathers. Citizenship as they had envisioned it even back then was not free, but came with a price.
A citizen was expected to carry out certain civic duties and responsibilities such as the defense of the republic, participating in state and local government, and voting on affairs of the nation as a whole. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Given all the communication technology; receiving and sending information has never been easier, however civic involvement is at one if its lowest points in the past 100 years. Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote of her husband, that Theodore Roosevelt taught by precept and example that men owed something at all times, whether in peace or in war, for the privilege of citizenship and that the burden rest equally on rich and poor. He said that, no matter what conditions existed, the blame lay no more heavily on the politician and his machine controlling city, state, or nation, than on the shoulders of the average citizen who concerned himself so little with his government that he allowed men to stay in power in spite of his dissatisfaction because he was too indifferent to exert himself to get better men in office. In order to maintain such a jewel of democracy, a new superior breed of citizen is required, one that has stepped forward and reached out to carry the torch of freedom and guard it from those that would seek to extinguish it.
He or she must wear his or her citizenship like a badge of honor. For citizenship to be so greatly prized it must be earned. One should have to make great sacrifices in order to be awarded the status quo of a class that steers and maintains the republic for the greater good of the nation for which it stands.
The current system of populace participation is severely handicapped by lack of involvement and voter apathy. In the 2000 presidential election 129.5 million people were eligible to vote, however of that number only 85.
5% decided it would be a good idea to vote. Unfortunately statistics on the number of people who were informed voters are not available. Often those that do vote complain of a lack of choice, or having to choose the lesser of two evils. Are we really doing our democracy a favor by voting for the candidates that we dislike the least? When is the last time a candidate ran for office that actually enamored the masses? An individual that had the experience, had made the sacrifices, had the true interest of the nation; where is he or she? To represent and lead this previously mentioned group of “super citizens”, we should have a worthy leader. The headlines and the news channels are full of stories of the corrupt and the hypocritical. The leaders that we now elect to office are often pursuing their own interest or being corrupted by the decadent political machine that administers our nation.
They make decisions without weighing the cost on the nation and its peoples, having for the most part made little if any sacrifice to obtain the position to which they have been elected. Most American elected officials come from privileged backgrounds, and have little if any idea of the concept “doing without”. They have always had their will, be it material or other. They lack the discipline and moral fortitude to be entrusted with .