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The Burden of U.S.Citizenship November 5, 2012

As we approach the 2012 Presidential Elections it may be opportune to consider the onerous burden we share in exercizing our voting rights as Citizens of the United States. While many view citizenship as a right, few consider the burden that this right places on each and every American.

America is an awesomly powerful nation, politically, economically and militarily, and with the inherent ability to change the lives of the global population, both for the better and for the worse. With this power comes an obligation of responsibility - an obligation to act with discretion, wisdom, compassion, knowledge and foresight.

The risk we all face, as US Citizens, is that we may become arrogant - that might is right. That we may become indifferent - that lesser nations don't count. And that we may become ignorant - that we don't need to be informed or knowledgeable about other nations. And that we may be abrogating our democratic responsibility to ensure that our President and our Government is acting within the mandate we afford to them when we give them our vote.

Powerful nations that lose the ability to rule wisely, mercifully and with temperance invariably cultivate the seeds of their own destruction. And if the loyalty of its citizens is blind, arrogant and ignorant, the destruction of great nations is inevitable.

America is facing some of its greatest challenges - climate change, fossil fuel depletion, terrorism and nuclear proliferation - and it will require serious people to make serious decisions if we are to survive and prosper. And whether America gets a President and a Government that will make the right decisions and the right choices, will depend on whether US Citizens cast a vote based upon arrogance, indifference and ignorance or on wisdom and knowlege of the issues affecting not only our lives in the United States, but the lives of everyone who shares this planet.

All too frequently we see that America is unwilling to talk with its enemies and detractors. Yet it is precisely because of what America is, that we SHOULD be making every effort to sit down and talk with these people. The essence of greatness is the ability and willingness to communicate with friends and enemies equally. To demonstrate an intent to pursue agreement and compromise. To motivate a search for a solution to differences of belief and opinion. True greatness comes not from pettiness and spite, but from a willingness to seek out your enemy, not to destroy him, but to understand him.

America will be judged internationally not only by our actions but also by our intentions, and as US Citizens it is our responsibility to ensure that in as much as we enjoy mastery of the planet, so too must we exercise this mastery through knowledge rather than ignorance. Only then can we hold our elected officials accountable to act in accordance with our mandate. Anything less makes a mockery of democracy and belittles the value of our vote.

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