This Blog Is Not for You
By Charles Robertson, Co-founder of Broward Tea Party
This Blog may not be for you, but don’t stop reading. Let’s first figure out if you’re on the Intended Readers List. If you’ve ever read one of my blogs or one of the blogs from the Broward Tea Party, then you’re probably not on the Intended Readers List. Likewise, if you attend a Tea Party or similar political action group, you’re most likely one of the engaged, aware, civically responsible citizens and I salute you. I don’t need to reach you; you already get it. But please keep reading, because I’ll need you to help me get this to this those for whom it is intended – those who would never read a blog relating to politics. You see I’m tired of preaching to the choir. It’s time to spread the message to those who need it most. I’m also skipping my normal, catch more bees with honey approach. This is an in your face, I’m calling you out, guilt trip… whatever works.
To determine where you stand in terms of civic awareness and responsibility, I’ve devised the following three tier rating:
Level 1 – Firefighting 101
The first requirement is a basic understanding of our system of government. Our system is under assault, burning at multiple sources. Yet, most are apathetic and among those who aren’t there remains a large portion that lacks the knowledge of history and government necessary to fight back.
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”
~ John Adams
“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Since “knowledge is power,” let’s test your knowledge to see if you’ve passed this level. Following are the top 10 questions on the U.S. Citizenship test:
1. What is the supreme law of the land?
2. What does the Constitution do?
3. The idea of self-government in the first words of the Constitution, What are these words?
4. What is an amendment?
5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
10. What is freedom of religion?
- The Constitution
- • Sets up the government • Defines the government • Protects basic rights of Americans
- We the People
- • A change (to the Constitution) • An addition (to the Constitution)
- The Bill of Rights
- Any one of these: Speech, Religion, Assembly, Press, and Petition the government
7. Twenty-seven (27)
8. Announced our independence (from Great Britain) / Declared our independence (from Great Britain) / Said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)
9. • Life • Liberty • Pursuit of happiness
10. You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
If you answered 8 – 10 correctly, congratulations, you passed the same test that is required of immigrants seeking citizenship. If you fell in the range of 6-7 correct answers then you need to brush up on your government. Citizenship may be your birthright but civic responsibility requires a basic understanding of our system. If you answered 5 or less correctly then you’re a pinhead. You’re part of an embarrassingly large portion of our society who is content to be clueless, undeserving of the freedoms you’ve inherited. You can rise above this. Please, read on.
Level 2 – Find the Fire
Pick a fire, any fire. Out of control debt, IRS scandal, Benghazi, unemployment, immigration; the list goes on and on. Once you have a good understanding of our government and our history, you’re ready to engage current events. You have the foundation to speak with authority and the wisdom to provide analysis. At this level, you’re armed with knowledge, prepared to set the record straight. The only thing holding you back is your reluctance to take on the leadership role. You can change minds and set the record straight in conversations, but you’d probably prefer to avoid that. Your country needs you to move out of your comfort zone, to use your knowledge to wake up and persuade others to take action. You can’t fix everything, but if you focus on one issue you can make a difference. Pick any of those fires and make it your personal cause, join a group, move yourself to level 3.
Level 3 – Join the Firefighters
Those who reach the highest level, who fulfill their civic duty, take on the role of activist. “For God and Country” is an interesting phrase and a rallying call. In four short words, it sets both a priority and a challenge. Throughout our country and in communities everywhere, people set aside time to worship God every week. So let’s put church service and all the related activities under the category of “For
God”. That leaves “For Country”. ‘What are you doing in this category?” If you’re like most people the answer is precious little! Many will say, “I vote”, as though that alone is all that’s required. Anyone can cast a ballot, some liberals cast many. What’s needed is to study the candidates and issues and make informed votes at every election, especially the small local ones. Fulfilling your civic duty is your obligation; we all share the responsibility to defend freedom. This requires more than just voting. Give your country a fraction of the time you give to God. While I’d love to suggest the Tea Party as a great means to get involved, the truth is we are one of many great organizations offering similar opportunities. Pick one, any one.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
~ Edmund Burke
Now that you’ve been called out you have 3 choices. First, you can do nothing which makes you a civic deadbeat. At least you can’t unread this message. May the guilt of your apathy fester inside you until the day you become involved. Secondly, you can forward this blog to others. This is passing the buck but at least you might create results via proxy. Lastly, you can join the firefighters at level 3. “Ding, ding, ding!”, we have a winner – you’re one in a hundred, or 500; who knows. I do know that those who heed the call are rare, the salt of the earth, and our reason to remain optimistic.