To the editor:
With rights come responsibilities.
Most high school civics books contain a section on the responsibilities of citizenship. Everyone knows about patriotism, the pride we exude, and the rights we possess. But do Americans fully embrace the duties that go along with these rights? Do we even care?
Our level of civic engagement indicates that the answer is, NO! Eighty million Americans are non-voters; most do not make time to participate in their communities; and many do whatever they can to avoid jury duty. Who is there to push us in the direction of being dutiful citizens? Let us look to the presidential candidates.
We have been hearing about how they have the solutions to our problems. By persuading Americans to believe that one party will do this, and the other that, each are in effect only dividing and conquering. Besides their solicitation for votes, the major party candidates are not doing what Ralph Nader IS doing: helping Americans help themselves.
We need a leader who will focus on getting millions of young people and minorities to the polls, rather then keeping others off the ballot or out of their rallies. Americans need a president who will urge us to take on the duties our forefathers bestowed upon us. Casting a vote is a small step in the right direction.