Ordinary Ideas

Defining the Ordinary Citizen-Part IV

(Follow the full series under the Defining the Ordinary Citizen category.)

There’s a saying that sticks with me from my Navy days.  “A sailor’s not happy unless he has something to complain about.”  I suspect there may be a kernel of truth to that statement.  Complaining seems to be a human trait, but it’s not terribly useful.

A common perception of the Tea Party movement is that it is made up of people who are angry and just want to complain.  There is no doubt that Ordinary Citizens, both within and outside of the Tea Party movement are upset.  However, I firmly believe that the Ordinary Citizen has immense capability to provide realistic solutions to society’s problems.

Back to my “Ordinary Citizen” speech from last year’s Albany Tax Day Tea Party:

I am an Ordinary Citizen, and I have ideas! I do not like complaining and whining.  Just ask my three-year old son.  Obviously, I have complaints about our society and our government.  I also have some potential solutions, and I recognize that not everyone will agree with them.  Still, let me share them with you.

I know that we are in tough economic times.  People have lost their jobs; rumors of layoffs persist in corporations of every size.  It is not an easy time for the ordinary citizen.  It is time to cut taxes, let alone raise them.  At the same time, government must cut waste, fraud and abuse, and perhaps even cut some “better” programs.  The cuts must occur from the top down, not the bottom up.  Start by getting rid of those jobs that are simply there as a political reward.  It’s also time for the unions to stop protecting the poor performers.  We might even have to cut pay, benefits, or even the jobs of some good employees.

Yet, we ordinary citizens cannot leave it at that.  Many of us are facing or will face the same situation.  It is time for the rest of us to stand up and help out those in need.  Yes, it is tough to do in hard economic times, but we need to support those in need… help others get back on their feet.  10% of my family’s income goes to charitable organizations.  Whether that money goes to a religious organization or a charity it will do far more than if it goes to a bloated bureaucratic government…

Some would argue that the problems of society are just too big for individuals to solve, that only the government can provide the solution.  I say, “NO!”  It makes a difference to the people that we help.  It is time to push the government out of the way, and help out those in need ourselves.

The Ordinary Citizen does make a difference!

These are important ideas, and there are endless others worthy of action. Unfortunately, if the ideas of Ordinary Citizens are largely ignored, it is easy to become disheartened.

But don’t fret.  The Ordinary Citizen has a voice!  Find out more in Defining the Ordinary Citizen – Part V.

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