Reflections on Patriotism and Government: A Call to Action for “We the People”

We the People… Those words captivated my attention from the earliest times I can remember. I was born three days before President Nixon took the country off the gold standard. I remember watching, with my parents and sisters, through the static on a black-and-white TV as the 1976 election unfolded. My parents allowed me to stay home from school to watch the first launch of the Space Shuttle.

Inspired by those formative events, I participated in student government in middle school and high school and was even elected class president in my junior year. That was the same year I joined the US Army on the delayed entry program. During the late 1980s, the phrase “We the people” meant more than just the words that started a constitution that is too often forgotten today.

My years in the Army aligned perfectly so that less than two years after graduating from high school, I was sent to Saudi Arabia where we fought a war for oil. That was the start of our decline, in my mind. I was married and two years away from graduating from law school when the economy, which had been riding high on the early days of the internet, collapsed. When the so-called Patriot Act was pushed through Congress in the days after 9/11, I wondered what the country would look like when my daughter, who was born on August 12 of that year, was old enough to vote.

In the years since, I have left the law largely because I have experienced the truth that the law has left the people. Having provided that foundation for myself as a patriotic citizen, I will share that tonight, as I watched Former President Trump and President Biden on CNN, my heart ached. There was not even a faint echo of the feeling I used to experience when participating in our government in that manner. Instead, my mind replayed “what if” scenarios regarding election day. So I walked out of the room where the debate was on TV, in the home where I live, and I sat down here in front of my computer screen to write these words. These words arose from my heart. As I write them, I can feel tingling in my chest and warmth swelling in my moist eyes. I have twice, once as a soldier and once as an officer of the court, sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. In my heart, that means I have twice sworn an oath to “We the people.”

Do any of my words resonate with you? Are you “we the people”? I am “we the people,” and I feel the status quo is untenable in countless ways. However, in my heart, I know the way forward is by being forward-thinking. I do not approve of the way our government is working, and so I am going to be the change I would like to see. You will not hear me speak against anything happening in or anyone participating in our government presently. Where you put your attention is where you put your energy, and I will not support the status quo with my energy by paying attention to it any more than is my duty.

Rather, I will be funneling my energy into figuring out how “we the people” can take our authority back and transform and improve our government in these days of worldwide instant connectivity, blockchain, and AI. Toward that end, I ask: Are you “we the people”? If you are, I invite you to join me in these efforts.

Leave a Comment