Most people just want to be left alone to live their lives in a manner which suits them without any political or religious interference. Now…who can argue with that? Could there be a more honorable, desirable pursuit than having dominion over one’s own life and liberty and property? A Slam-Dunk question if ever there was one.

I would also ask “Most People”, how’s that workin’ out for you? From where I sit, there is more governmental intrusion into our lives than I have ever seen before, and I have been around for a long time. Our “Public Education” system is turning out more drop-outs than graduates in most major metropolitan areas, the best medical care providers in the world have been basically cut off at the knees, the United States Constitution is being dismantled(the 1st,2nd, 4th and 5th amendments in particular), your freedom to practice a preferred religion is just about gone. I believe the number one reason that these things are happening is that our personal responsibility for governmental oversight has been handed off to a congressional committee. We, as citizens, have chosen in great numbers to “Not Be Involved” in the political process, for any number of lame excuses, beyond an occasional trip to the polling place. And if you think that a “Polling Place” is where poles are made, you are an even bigger part of the problem. Can you say “Complacency”?

I’m here to tell you that the day has come and gone….forever that we can afford to simply sit by and watch. And oh by the way, please do NOT take my word for it, just look around at the things that are happening in our country and the world at large which have a direct correlation to your and my personal freedom. If you don’t understand what is going on, find someone you trust who does and have them explain it to you. If we do not adopt the attitude of “Trust but Verify” as a way of life, we may lose our existing way of life. Citizens in large numbers need to become involved in our political system. But wait….before you panic and bolt, there is a bright spot in all of this. Not everyone can or should be an activist. It takes knowledge, skill, and desire to work directly in the political system that most people just do not possess. There is only room for so many folks to get right in the middle of things anyway.

So what can we do as day to day people that we probably are not doing now? When it comes to our elected representatives, we can make a phone call, send an e-mail or write a letter and let them know that we are watching and how we feel about issue of the day. We can choose a political group with whom we can identify and support them financially to the extent of our personal ability. I submit that even these easy, simple actions by themselves will make a huge impact on how good a job elected officials would do from your local school boards right on up to the hallowed halls of Congress. Another thing that must be done is to get behind the Convention of States effort which is sweeping across the country. I’m not going to tell you all about it, you do the research yourself and find out what it is something you can get your arms around.

It is a personal choice of every legal citizen of these United States whether they choose to do or not to do any or all of these things. I’ve already been writing, calling and e-mailing as well as contributing what I can to a safe, secure and free future. We all have to decide where our individual values lie and what we are willing to contribute in support of them. Personally, I want to see the United States Constitution recognized, honored and protected by our elected officials as they swore to do as they assumed their offices. At the very least.I want to see a Federal Balanced Budget, as well as a solid plan to eliminate the National Debt and see that wee never have another one. I would like to NOT feel the need to carry a weapon to protect myself and my family. Term Limits are key to the survival of our Representative Republic. A total revision of our tax system is so long overdue it is frightening. That would be a good start. The rest could be fixed by adopting the list of things Robert Fulghum says he learned in kindergarten. That list can be found in his short and entertaining book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

I don’t like it any more than you do, but, as I see it, THAT is our Challenge.

It’s up to you now.

Mel Raymond

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