Citizenship full-time job, not just on Election Day

(Bedford) Times-Mail

In the final days leading up to Tuesday’s election, frustrated citizens, weary of the onslaught of negative advertising, expressed a desire for the process to end.

They simply wanted the bickering and squabbling to go away.

Such as all elections, this one has come and gone.

By Wednesday morning, most of the races were determined, and Americans could return to at least a semblance of normalcy. Campaign signs that speckled neighborhood lawns will disappear. Unfortunately, the “House for Sale” signs nearby will remain in place, tangible evidence that the effect of this woeful recession lingers on.

America’s problems cannot be remedied by an election, regardless of the results.

Four years ago, Barack Obama promised to steer us down a new avenue. Mitt Romney pledged change this year. Both men appear sincere in their quests to set our nation on a more prosperous path.

Ah, but here’s the rub. Change does not always equate with progress.

Yet change, at least in some form, is inevitable, and it requires movement. And movement, most often, generates friction.

Friction, though unsettling, is essential to our form of government. As Hubert Humphrey so eloquently noted, “Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent and debate.”

A citizen’s participation in the political process does not end on Election Day. It behooves us all to continue to engage and question our leaders, to express our views and concerns to elected officials ranging from school board trustees to commander-in-chief.

Never hesitate to remind these individuals they were elected to represent our interests, not theirs.

Settling for change is not sufficient. We must continue to demand progress.

Be vigilant. Ask questions. Stay informed.

Citizenship is a full-time job.

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