civic duty

Vox Populi: Rights and Retribution

By

Conversations with nonvoters and the otherwise disengaged usually dredge up the question, “what difference does it make to me?” A very active colleague’s anything but active spouse actually pointed to his wallet in one of these exchanges. He was asked why he wasn’t more involved. His wallet was his answer. The point was that no one had shown him how any of it made a difference to the purchasing power he held in his wallet. A simple cost-benefit analysis suggested he had better things to do with his time. Hordes of economists explain political behavior exactly this way and it’s…

Read More
#CitizensRead: “Gumption” and the Battle Cry of a Decent People

#CitizensRead: “Gumption” and the Battle Cry of a Decent People

By

American founders worried about limiting our expectations if we only understood ourselves through lists. In the original case, the question revolved around the perils of listing fundamental rights. That list became our Bill of Rights, a document that many mistake for the sum total of their constitutional rights. That’s what Madison was afraid would happen. More than two hundred and twenty-five years later, Nick Offerman has his own list for us and a powerful example of how to understand lists as a set of forward-looking propositions that require our participation. In Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest…

Read More