In this period of great upheaval and when (according to a new Pew Poll, dated April 22, 2010) just 22% of Americans say that they trust the federal government to do what is right most of the time, many of our fellow citizens are asking what they can do to relieve their frustrations and help their country rebound during this difficult period. I believe that this would be good time for my fellow Mississippians and my fellow Americans to read and become familiar with “The Patriot’s Guide – What YOU Can Do for Your Country.” This Guide can be found in more detail at Heritage.org, a website of The Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank that does so much to create and promote innovative conservative ideas and solutions to America’s problems. I recommend The Patriot’s Guide to you, and I present it, in part, to you below in abbreviated form:
1. Practice The Virtues of Self Governance: a) be a responsible citizen; b) Care for your family; c) Practice your faith and defend your religious liberty; d) Join organizations and volunteer in your local community; e) Start a business and invest in America.
2. Voice Your Opinion: a) Vote; b) Write letters and comment online; c) Contact your elected officials; d) Call radio shows; e) Participate in local town-hall meetings, tea party activism and local assemblies.
3. Encourage Discussion: a) Start a blog or Web site; b) challenge liberals with fact-based arguments; c) Encourage the media to represent conservative principles; d) Encourage candidates and elected representatives to learn more about conservative ideas; e) Get conservative editorials and letters in your local newspaper; f) Support teachers, educational programs, and schools that teach the truth about America and its principles.
4. Spread the Word: a) Talk to your family and friends; b) Join social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter; c) Bring issues you care about to your civic, social, church, or business groups; d) Celebrate America's heritage and distribute pocket Constitutions.
5. Join the Conservative Movement: a) Support think tanks and institutions fighting for conservative principles and policies; b) If you are a student, apply for an internship, such as the year-round program at the Heritage Foundation. These programs are designed to foster young leaders and help them grow as part of the larger conservative movement.
REDISCOVER THE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY
1. We Still Hold These Truths: The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America's first principles. Read "We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future", a powerful overview of those principles - how they developed, what they mean, and the debate over their status today. Get a copy of the study guide that accompanies the book, appropriate for self-study, as a teaching manual or as the basis for a discussion group.
2. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: Free citizens must understand the extent of their rights and the constitutional limits on the powers of government. Get "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution", an easy to understand line-by-line examination of the Framers' Constitution and its contemporary meaning.
3. Reading the Right Books: Keep reading and learning! "Reading the Right Books" is an annotated bibliography of thoughtful books (on history, politics, literature, economics, statesmanship, religion, public policy, and modern conservative thought) recommended as a guide for intelligent, conservative-minded readers who want to prepare themselves for a public life of thought and action.
FOLLOW THE IMPORTANT ISSUES OF THE DAY
1. Stay Informed: a) Go to Thomas.gov and review pending legislation; b) Track local issues with organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council or the State Policy Network; c) Follow several organizations on Facebook and Twitter so you can get all sides to every story.
2. Find the Organization That is Right for you: There are many conservative organizations out there. Decide what issues matter most to you, and then support the appropriate institution. Check out www.policyexperts.org to help narrow your search.
3. Go to Heritage.org: a) Sign up for the Morning Bell at Foundry.org; b) The Foundry blog at Heritage promotes conservative policies and principles by marrying the best in public policy research with every day's current events; c) Read and share Heritage Fact Sheets, which give overviews of the complex issues of our day; and d) InsiderOnline.org maintains a searchable database of policy research, publications, and legal actions throughout the nation.
Time is short, but there is still plenty of time to make a difference before the November congressional elections. I think the Patriot’s Guide is an excellent roadmap as to what Americans can do to help their country leading up to election day.
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