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Citizen Slackers

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Published on Jul 19, 2007

What is the proper role of the citizen in modern times? How informed and engaged do we really need to be? For some bleak statistics on the state of the American civic mind, see the recent Pew study on "Public Knowledge of Current Affairs" at:
http://people-press.org/reports/displ...

One thing's for sure -- if we truly want wiser and more effective government, we truly need wiser and more effective citizens. It's a simple syllogism for a self-governing society, but no one in the public spotlight will ever discuss it. So I thought I'd ask the candidates for president who among them has the courage to challenge us, the people -- the citizen slackers -- to ask us why so many of us are unwilling to invest the time and effort necessary to perform the full measure of our citizen responsibilities? And what the candidates might do to try to reverse the curse of civic apathy in America.

Jeffrey Abelson
Los Angeles

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