Written by: Kate Westrick
I’ve often heard people complain of oppression at the hands of government. Many times, citizens stand by as if they were mere hapless victims subject to whatever their elected officials deem appropriate. This attitude has been on the rise, especially in regard to the 2016 presidential election. There was an air of righteous abstinence; the idea that governmental participation was inherently dirty and deceptive colored many potential voters’ worldviews as they stayed home from the polls. Unfortunately, no matter how upright this standpoint may appear, it is attitudes like these that lead to the downfall of liberty and prosperity.
Our government was not created to operate outside of the will and participation of the people. This is precisely what the Founders of our nation abhorred about their mother country. To abstain from the political process, to simply “wash your hands of it,””, is in many ways no more than freedom’s death sentence.
All too often, people resort to armchair complaints and Facebook soapboxes to vent their political frustration overlooking their very opportunity to impact real, visible change in their local, state and national government.
Over the past couple months, I was able to work on a local mayoral campaign. The work I did was far from glamorous. It mostly consisted of phone banking, door knocking and planting various signs throughout the greater Chattanooga area. Although it was not entertaining or riveting, it was important work that needed to be done. Furthermore, instead of simply suffering at the hands of government, I made the active choice to become the hands of government.
This very idea of every citizen taking on a role and responsibility in government is exactly the reason the United States of America has fostered so much success. Granted, not everyone needs to get involved in a campaign or volunteer for their county commissioner; but citizens should strive for participation albeit, in most cases, small. There are thousands of opportunities in hundreds of organizations and districts throughout the nation. Instead of complaining or abstaining, take action and participate in the nation you are blessed to call home.
Kate Westrick studies political science, history, and any public policy she can get her hands on. She serves as a political correspondent for the Bryan College Triangle, participates in intercollegiate debate, and occasionally serves on the campus worship team. She can usually be found in the library drinking La Croix and talking about politics, the Myers-Briggs personality test, or her future tiny house.