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The American Century Is Our Responsibility

Americans are as divided as ever.  We have been hoodwinked by politicians dividing us between the Red and the Blue, but we as a nation are Red, White, and Blue.  It’s not just a flag, it’s our heritage, our present greatness and how we can make a better future.  

Our American Century is dependent on self-governance. Defined as self-control and self-responsibility beyond our own personal existence.  Sure, you’re “holding your own” but your neighbors are the problem or the government is the problem or even the sun getting hotter is America’s problem.  They’re all of our problems. That’s what being an American is- a collective democracy of individuals. Let’s control our narcissistic impulses and really Make America Great Again. 

Crime decreased in America for the past twenty years yet Americans still vote for “tough on crime” candidates.  It’s time we stop worrying about toughness and focus on fairness. The opioid crisis has been a redefining moment in American history as communities are requesting restorative justice measures and sentencing for drug crimes.   We need to be self-governing in all the laws that affect us from drugs to petty property crimes.  We the People can request more fairness in sentencing through local legislation to the ballot box.  We don’t need to destroy anyone’s life, we need to find methods to strengthen our nation and its people for re-entry.  Get tough on politicians that promise to heal the nation yet choose to incarcerate.

Eliminating poverty is possible but We the People must choose a solution.  Nearly 50% of Americans feel that increasing taxes on the rich could alleviate poverty.  Not true. It could start but poverty is related to the income of a person. The federal minimum wage is still only $7.25 an hour which is how states base their minimum wage.  The Fight for $15’s campaign influenced several states to increase wage-self-governing to alleviate poverty.  Increased wages don’t just give a person or family more money, it strengthens our entire Capitalist system. If We the People use self-governance tactics we can alleviate poverty in our direct cities and towns by insisting on local ordinances to increase the minimum wage.  We don’t have to wait for Big Brother since the changes are allowed by federalism.  A cheeseburger at the local diner may cost a bit more but in the long run, your act of self-governance helped your community. 

As gentrification spreads remnants of neighbors and families remain barely squeaking by to stay in their city homes.  Small towns are witnessing “revitalizations” as urban dwellers leave the high priced condos for Victorians and back yards driving taxes up and diminishing local favorites.   Small towns and small neighborhoods can change their fate using self-governing campaigns to pass local ordinances. As Americans witnessed in 2016, rural Americans still have political force in politics.  They need to use it in their own town halls since politicians have sidelined their needs. Shelterforce is a great source showcasing the many methods of making changes without dislocation of important neighbors.  

Classism connects these deeply American issues to each other and ourselves.  We can eliminate our prejudices against the poor, the rich and each other to grow into a prosperous and more equitable society in this century.   Our America needs a new rule by the people to be stronger than ever. We are founding this new century with what can be a new nation. A nation of equality, prosperity, and responsibility to and for others.  Think hard the next time that tough on crime candidate asks for your vote or the next time you spend $15 or even when that new neighbor moves in. We can use self-governance to make America the greatest it’s ever been together. 

Image by Shonda Ranson from Pixabay

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