In a presidential election year, tensions run high as people divide once again over who will be the next leader of the United States. Should it be the Republican candidate or the Democrat or maybe one of the Independent choices? The evening news becomes a spectator sport and ever increasing feelings of helplessness creep in as the realization hits that you are very likely out of good choices. How do we get to this place where the election feels like a bad coin toss? How do we wind up with no good candidates who actually represent the desires of the people?
In his book, Accountability Citizenship, Stephen P. Tryon takes a proactive approach to responsibilities of every citizen in the process of electing leaders at all levels and having a voice in the process. He starts off by discussing our responsibility to vote and why many people choose not to. Any poll worker will tell you that Presidential election turnouts are much higher than regular election turnout. According to Tryon, that is because people believe their vote for President is their most important vote. However, he argues that in fact the most important votes we make are for people in the Senate and House of Representatives. Our votes for those individuals are counted directly while Presidential votes go through an electoral college. Individuals elected to the Senate or House of Representatives also represent the wishes of far fewer people than the President does. By understanding the roll of the Congress and how to interact with those elected individuals, our voice can be heard.
While I don’t normally enjoy reading a lot about civic responsibilities, I found Tryon’s approach to be very helpful in guiding ordinary citizens in having a proactive role in what happens in our country. Most of us feel powerless because we don’t know how information and ideas travel up the chain of command and we don’t know how to work within that structure. His ideas are both helpful and empowering to ordinary citizens. Anyone who wants to do more and have their vote count will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it!
Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Smith Publicity. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.