Having been in government service for a number of years, I came to resent a term used by many fellow public servants. It had many forms: “Regular citizen”, “Joe citizen”, “Taxpayer” or the worst “Just a citizen.” All of these references orbited around the idea that somehow the people, the individuals who make up the great body of governance authority in this country, are somehow less than those hired to carry out their wishes. Many, on both sides of the equation, have lost sight of the importance of citizenship. Without the animating effect of the citizen, government is power without character. Without the watchful check provided by responsible, engaged citizens, government is nothing but willful tyranny.

The next time you hear words that reduce the power and importance of the citizen, politely correct the misinformed.

Duane Buckner


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