Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Citizenship Means in Plano

Do you believe that citizenship entails responsibilities as well as rights? That asking only what's in it for me is unworthy of our nation's founding ideals? Or do you believe such a notion of citizenship is irrational, even dangerous? If you live in Plano, you might want to read on. Someone wanting to represent you has pretty strong opinions on the subject.

After the jump, what citizenship means in Plano.

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, President Obama talked about citizenship. He explained his understanding of the responsibilities that go along with the rights of citizenship.
We, the people recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.
Source: NPR.
That's what President Obama thinks. What do Republicans think? It didn't take long after President Obama made the statement above for Jeff Leach, Republican candidate for Plano's Texas House District 67, to tweet, "President Obama has a completely irresponsible, irrational and dangerous view of what 'citizenship' really means."

Jeff Leach didn't give his own definition, but it's fair to guess that it doesn't include a concern for love or charity or duty or patriotism. Or maybe, just like the two parties can't agree on the meaning of citizenship, they can't agree on the meanings of those other concepts, either. That's the state of the highly polarized American democracy in 2012. Sigh.

1 comment:

glbeach said...

Although it is only a pipe dream that will never happen, it would be interesting to hear candidate Leach clarify and explain what he means. To me, this simply shows a sound-bite mentality wrapped within the 'divide and conquer' approach to our current polarized political environment.

Personally, I agree with President Obama's interpretation and suspect many generations of Americans and patriots would agree as well.