Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It’s A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The USA has been a grand experiment in personal liberty. Its architects understood that America’s long-term success depended on ethical and educated voters as well as the governmental checks and balances they devised. As John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Knowledge, understanding, and character are precisely FairKaye’s focus. The news items, comments, and occasional instructions are designed to help the electorate “keep the Republic.” I comb the Internet looking for relevant items that tend to be overlooked or misinterpreted by the mass media, then present the ‘cream of the crop’ to keep my readers informed, wisely using their precious time, vote, and influence.

My passion for political involvement took root in childhood when I often watched my grandmother take pen in hand to compose four to five page letters to her senators and congressman. She had been one of two voters in her precinct to oppose FDR’s Social Security proposals – at a time when she herself worked three jobs to keep food on the table. When she passed away in 1967, I re-read copies of some of those missives and the replies from Washington. Each letter revealed a well-constructed argument and each reply acknowledged the validity of her opinion.

Love of politics blossomed during high school when I had the good fortune to study civics under Ms. Rae Files Still who had served ten years in the legislature before retiring to teach. During that decade she wrote a book about the process of bringing an idea into law. I enjoyed her classes, illustrated with real life experiences, but not until later did I comprehend the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for our form of government that she passed on to her students.

The protests of the Sixties and Seventies only increased my love for the orderly transfer of power and the lawful changes our nation has access to. I often wished that the protesters understood the legal avenues to amendment and citizen activism that I had been taught. Later I began to seriously study the media, while teaching communication at the University level. I grew to fear the media induced sound-bite mentality that substitutes appealing phrases for thoughtful discourse.

Our media and our busy lives keep many Americans either ignorant or complacent about what’s happening to the Republic. Because we have lives to live, children to raise, and jobs to do, it’s easy to comment about Washington but difficult to demand wise actions. While our government will never be perfect, it offers more possibilities for excellence than any other if the voters remain engaged. FairKaye is here to make active citizenship easy and interesting.

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