Having now demonstrated to the Democrat Left, the Obama Administration, and to themselves a resolve to see things in the country change, American voters are now charged with the task of holding the people they just elected to keep the promises they made. This historic election is just the beginning of a return to sanity for our republic.
Rather than retreat to the recesses of our routines, we voters must now take the advantage we have achieved and push ahead aggressively to move this momentum to the next step. How is this achieved?
Here are some suggestions.
Communicate with the men and women just elected and let them know that you will not be sleeping as they assume office. Let them know that you will be keeping tabs on their actions in keeping the promises they made to you in earning your vote. Use letters, email, and certainly attend public events where these elected officials will be making speeches or answering questions. Remember to be civil and respectful in your questions and behavior.
Find out when the policy groups in your area meet and attend them. Get to know the people who are opinion drivers and let them know you want to be involved. There are many of them and you will not be able to attend them all. If you want to know how to find them, call your local political party or elected official’s office. They will be delighted to assist you. You will be able to get on email blast lists to keep you appraised of upcoming opportunities.
Educate yourself. Re-read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Read your state Constitution. Educate yourself on policy issues. Do you understand the proper role of government? Do you understand how debt affects the economy? Do you have a handle on what our foreign policy should look like? Information is everywhere. Locate a blog and see their listing of other places to go for policy details. Be the “go-to” person in your circle when your friends have questions about upcoming policy debates. As Stephen Covey stated in his popular book, “seek to understand and to be understood”.
Take your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your children to these events and let them experience the magic of citizen involvement. Let them get a sense of the excitement in being involved in the elective and accountability process. Introduce them to elected representatives. Call your representative or senator and go to the State Capitol to meet with them.
At the national level, go to Votility.com and register as a user of this valuable service. Votility.com allows citizens to keep up with policy debates and where their Representative or Senator stands on that issue. Likewise, it allows your federal officials to know how you feel about those same issues. A boss of mine once told me, “people do not do what you ex-pect, they do what you in-spect.”
Look around for individuals you think would be excellent public servants and encourage them to run for office. Do not assume someone else will fund their campaigns. If you want to see good people get elected, then you help them financially. You hold events for them in your home or neighborhood. You volunteer to make calls for them. You become a passionate advocate of citizen involvement.
Keep the local and, if applicable, D.C. numbers of your elected officials saved in your phone. When your elected official does something of which you approve, make a quick call and give them an “attaboy”. When they do something of which you do not approve, call and make your voice heard. Do not yell at the person who takes the message. Be respectful, but direct. Follow up with an email. Encourage your friends to do the same. This is the way representative government works. In times past, we have trained our elected officials that we only pay attention to what they do two or three weeks prior to election day. We need to retrain ourselves and them by staying current on policy matters.
Lastly, make a point of reading the biographies of our Founders. I have gained tremendous insight into the mechanics of our government by reading about the people who formed our republic. By discovering the world in which they lived, by considering the challenges they faced, and by gaining understanding from the decisions they made we can become better citizens. The problems we face today are not new. By reading history, we can determine of the actions previously were taken were successful. Information is power!
American voters get the government they deserve. You deserve the best, so give your best. No turning back!