By Kimberly Fletcher, Founder of Abigail Adams Project
Over the years I have heard a lot of people say things like “I don’t get involved in politics”. I completely understand why you wouldn’t want to, after all politics is not a pleasant thing. In fact, it is all those things your mother told you to stay away from when you were growing up. But it is important that we understand the difference between politics and civic responsibility because they are not the same thing. And our nation is in the terrible state it is, where freedom hangs in the balance, because we have not fulfilled our civic responsibility. The harsh reality is, if we don’t like what is happening in America we only have ourselves to blame.
We have heard a great deal about what the government can do for the people but hear very little about by the people and of the people. In America, the people rule. We are defenders of liberty, we are the keepers of freedom, and we are the creators and overseers of our government. So what happens when we stop watching over that government? What happens when we ourselves are no longer willing to serve in elected office? What happens when We the People walk away? The answer is POLITICS.
Defending liberty is not politics. Sharing the light of liberty with our children is not politics. Respecting and honoring the Constitution is not politics. All of these things are our civic duty. Politics is simply a word people hide behind when they don’t have any principles and lack the courage to stand up for what is right. We can’t talk about life because “it is political”. We can’t talk about God because “it is political”. We can’t talk about right and wrong and the Ten Commandments because “it is political”. Just look at all the things that have been politicized today—life, religion, God, healthcare, income, work, freedom—even America itself has become a political issue. It is absurd.
We need to rise above the scum line of politics and realize being proud to be an American and willing to defend freedom is not political—it is our civic duty. And to help you understand just what that means, we have provided some definitions for you. This is not about engaging in politics, this is about doing our civic duty. And part of that duty is to find and elect good people to office to represent us, but we must first be statesmen ourselves. So here are the definitions:
Politics is a product of pride, worldliness, and a lust for power.
Civic responsibility is that duty which every American has as a citizen of this country, to respect the law, be involved in our communities, preserve the Constitution, safeguard the Republic, watch over our government, and seek out and elect good leaders to represent us. Politics is the result of what happens when not enough of us fulfill that duty.
A Politician is a person who lusts for power, is obsessed with self-importance, and motivated by greed. Politicians have been groomed in politics. They learn the artful craftiness of deceit, the clever tactics of scheming to get gain and win votes, and the cunning methods of distraction, distortion, denial and blame shifting. Politicians will say and do whatever it takes to keep and add to their power. They are motivated by self-preservation and personal gain, and put their own interests above the people they serve. Politicians will vote for anything they feel benefits them regardless of how their constituents feel or whether or not it is in the best interest of the country. Politicians are self-serving individuals who hold little regard for God or country and feel no loyalty or affection for the people they serve.
A Statesman on the other hand is a person of integrity and high moral character, who possesses a strong desire to serve others, recognizes his/her imperfections and strives to overcome them to be the best person he/she can be. Statesmen have been trained in humanity. They learn the moral code of right and wrong, the positive attributes of honesty, humility, patriotism, accepting responsibility, and the selfless standards of love thy neighbor, the golden rule, and country before self.
Statesmen are people of faith who believe in a supreme being and a future state of rewards and punishments. They research issues carefully and do their best to vote in the best interest of the Republic and the people they represent—even if it means losing votes.
Statesmen cherish freedom and liberty, have a deep affection and concern for those they serve and feel a profound sense of duty and loyalty to their Country. They live their faith, reverence God, and respect the faith of others.
Now that you’ve read these definitions I want you to ask yourself—do you want politicians serving in Congress or statesmen? Do you want politicians serving in city councils and school boards or statesmen? Do you want politicians teaching your children or statesmen? Do you want politicians in the media or statesmen?
Corruption doesn’t begin in Washington and it doesn’t end there either. We need statesmen in our schools teaching our children, in the media presenting the news, in our elected offices serving the people. And we need to be statesmen ourselves.
What we need is a might change of heart in America and we need to begin with our own hearts. This is America, the greatest, freest place on earth. America is not our enemy, she is our home. Liberty is not the problem, the lack of it is.
It is easy for us to blame Congress, the president, and government at large for all our “problems” but the fact is, none of these are the problem. They are only symptoms of the problem. The real problem is that We the People have not done our civic duty and the solution is to fulfill our civic responsibility.
There are no easy answers to the problem. Term limits, third parties, endorsements, are duplications of a failed system. The only way to truly preserve liberty is take our government back in our own hands where it belongs and where it was always meant to be. It won’t be easy. Benjamin Franklin knew this when he said they left us “a Republic if you can keep it”. We are the only ones who can keep it. It will take hard work, dedication and a long-term commitment. We did not get here overnight and we are not going to fix it overnight. There is no easy way out. There is only We the People. But if ever there was a people who could do it, it is us. And Liberty is worth the cost.