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The benefits of citizen responsibility

Melvin B. Miller
The benefits of citizen responsibility
“There are many of us who’ve given their all.”

Memorial Day was an excellent time for Americans to consider whether they really have what it takes to establish and preserve a democracy. It is no easy task. Countless citizens have given their lives in the effort. And there are many who have given their best effort and not received the basic benefits.

One of the major requirements of democracy is often ignored. The people are the fundamental power base. Citizens must exert the effort to be well informed and they must be willing to notify their elected representatives about the policies that they and their associates support. To do this is an exhausting process.

As an industrialized society becomes more complex, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the average citizen to become well informed. To be negligent in this duty is the first step in surrendering one’s democratic rights to a politician, whose function should be to help the electorate become well informed and actively involved citizens.

When one considers the alternative, the requirement of being a responsible citizen in a democratic system is fundamentally preferable. There are now a number of autocratic alternatives to consider. It is also informative to consider how the despots seized the power of the people under their control.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, moved up from being an officer in the nation’s secret service to become the political head of the country. Although no one knows for certain what are Putin’s inner thoughts and desires, one can conclude from his actions that he wants to elevate Russia to one of history’s most significant nations.

With his superior military forces, he has already annexed Georgia and Crimea and he has invaded Ukraine because the people refuse to submit to the domination of Russia. The consequence of their refusal is to suffer the ravages from Putin’s attack leveled at the citizens of the country. The Ukrainians refused to bend their knee in submission to the dominion of an autocratic leader, so Putin bombed his defiant fellow Slavs.

Blacks who are reluctant to perform their responsibilities as dutiful citizens should note what the alternative could be. With many conservatives abiding by the “replacement theory,” almost any Black could be considered an alien and thus subject to racial abuse. With the Putin policy unfolding before our eyes, Blacks should not feel mindlessly secure.