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Chapter 2: Why I wrote this simple little book about politics

September 10, 2012

This book details one citizen’s proposed solutions to the major political issues that are dividing our nation and undermining America’s greatness.

My goal was to make this an easy read for everybody—even those who don’t have much time to spend on politics. I hope you’ll find lots of “meat” and not much “fat.” Each chapter is designed to stand alone, with cross-references to related chapters for those who wish to dig deeper.

I have made a good-faith effort to attribute quotations accurately, but I haven’t done exhaustive academic research. I hope readers will understand that it’s the content of the quote that is of primary importance.

No one will agree with all of my solutions, and that’s okay. My aim is to at least challenge your views and stimulate your thinking about these issues—instead of being sucked in by the sound bites that have allowed a self-serving political elite to preside over our nation’s fall from greatness. I hope you’ll find a mix of opinions that you might not find anywhere else, since my own thinking doesn’t blindly follow any particular school of thought.

I am a regular citizen. I have never been active in partisan politics. I was privileged to have had an inside look at politics as a journalist, an editorial writer, and an editor—always representing a nonpartisan citizen’s perspective. Now, as a father of six and grandfather of twenty, this “Joe Citizen” feels compelled to try to do something about our nation’s decline before it is too late.

America is supposed to have a government “of, for, and by” the people. Regular citizens—folks like you and me—should be firmly in control. The common sense, brave hearts, and hard work of regular Americans are what made this country great.

Somehow we have allowed a “political elite”—career politicians, their public relations experts, special interest lobbyists, central planners, bureaucrats, and commentators—to dominate political discourse in this country. These self-appointed experts are making a mess of it! They have overcomplicated government to the point where most of us can’t even fill out our own tax returns.

I speak out now knowing that some of my opinions will offend left and right, rich and poor, black, brown, white, independents, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partyers, and Occupy Wall Streeters. If you disagree with some of my stances, all I ask is that you consider the related chapters so you can see how various issues overlap and interrelate.

My opinions are just that: one citizen’s opinions. I’m honored that you’re willing to consider mine, but make sure you form your own—which each of us can and should do as long as freedom survives.

I also welcome your comments — pro or con — which you can post in this blog at the bottom of each chapter.

Each of the book’s chapters is now posted on this blog, so any citizen who cares can participate in the ongoing discussion.

That’s how we change things in America:  one citizen at a time, starting with you and me!

–      Joe Smyth, 2012

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