Ordinary Voice

Defining the Ordinary Citizen-Part V

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

Can a single voice matter?  A couple?  Thousands?

I believe that I am in the process of finding my own voice.  This blog is a big part of it.  My “Ordinary Citizen” speech from last year’s Albany Tax Day Tea Party may have been a starting point for that process.  The speech continues here:

I am an Ordinary Citizen, and I have a voice! I am not represented by a union.  I am not represented by an association.  I have nobody lobbying on my behalf.  There are many groups that claim they represent me, but I do not feel that is the case.  Certainly, I am not represented by those in power.

I recall from my history lessons in high school that one of the reasons this country was founded was because the colonists were sick of “taxation without representation.”  It can be disheartening to know that I pay taxes galore, and I have yet to find my representation. I fear the day when we stop being ordinary citizens, and instead become ordinary subjects, for that is the day when tyranny comes to the United States.

But this Ordinary Citizen will not become pessimistic.  I recently read that we all need to “find our voices.”  I have found mine.  I have found it here, at home, at work, and with my friends.  If these politicians who claim to represent us, continue to ignore the Ordinary Citizen, then my voice will become louder.  I will vote my voice.  I will speak my voice.

It is time that we stand up; remind these politicians that they work for us.  It is time to tell them to get out of our daily lives, to get out of wallets, to live under a budget, to show some backbone and leadership.  If they will not listen…

I believe that I paused at this portion of the speech, then completed the sentence by leaning into the microphone and slowly emphasizing each word.

…then it is time to vote – them – out.

I was caught a little off guard by the vote-them-out chant that rose up from the crowd.  As it echoed across the rally site, I leaned back, scanned the crowd, and enjoyed the moment.  I think it was then that I realized that I was standing in the midst of hundreds of people, many of them finding their voices.

My speech continued:

We will demand that they leave their lofty positions, and we will replace them.  Replace them not with another power-hungry politician, but with an Ordinary Citizen.  It is time to vote in the reluctant politician.  It is time to vote in the farmer who would prefer to be in the fields, the teacher who would rather be in the classroom, the machinist who would be more comfortable in the shop, the programmer who enjoys being in front of a computer.  It is time for the careerist politicians to pack their bags and learn to function in the real world.

It is time for all of us as Ordinary Citizens to find our voices and say, “Enough.  Govern with restraint… or leave!”

Shortly thereafter, I reached the conclusion of my speech.  Afterward, it dawned on me that large numbers of people were discovering their voices. Not just the speakers and attendees at the Albany Tax Day Tea Party, but thousands more attending similar rallies across the country.

It is fantastic that so many Ordinary Citizens are speaking up.  Not only Tea Partiers, but people of differing beliefs.  People who have not been heard before.  You can meet them at rallies, interact with them via social networking sites, and read their thoughts on blogs far and wide.  It’s an exciting time.

What’s next for the Ordinary Citizen?  Find out in Defining the Ordinary Citizen – Part VI.

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