Webster has two definitions for citizen. The first: ‘the fact or status of being a citizen of a particular place’. The second: ‘the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community.’ To me, the second definition is more true. Yes, citizenship is a legal construct. We are ‘citizens’ of America, which grants us certain rights and privileges in the eyes of the American government. This does not capture the whole picture. There is more to being a member of a state than citizenship.

In fact, in order for a society to function properly, we (as citizens) are entrusted with the health and management of the state. Because we exist within a democracy, the most powerful weapon that we have to prevent mismanagement and tyranny is our vote. Leaders implement bad policies? Corrupt? Inept? Vote them out. Influence others to use their votes. Organize. Make some noise. Disobey the establishment. The people of lesser democracies dream of such political freedom.

This is our civic duty. Our incredible responsibility as citizens to see that our country continues to function to serve the will of the many, not the few.

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