ERIC Number: ED121648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Citizen Action Can Turn Things Around.
Gardner, John W.
In this document, the author points out that Americans have lost confidence in the government and political processes and shows how Common Cause can help restore trust in our institutions. Over the years, since the signing of the Constitution, Americans have believed that their political system was one in which they had a voice and that the system could be made to work. Recently, however, the opinion of the American people changed. The notion of self-government was replaced by the concept of federal government because the nation had become too big and too complex, resulting in less understanding and desire by individuals to participate in the process of government. To restore confidence and trust in governmental institutions, it is necessary to build a political and governmental process that is open, accountable, and unbought--a political and governmental process in which citizens can believe and place their trust. The overall goal is to preserve the constitutional system and constitutional liberty. Before that happens, however, some basic problems need to be overcome. It is necessary to build both a strong presidency and executive branch and, at the same time, strengthen the instruments which hold them accountable. The most important problem is providing protection against abuse of governmental power. A strengthened role for organizations such as Common Cause can be used as a check against abuses of power. Common Cause can reestablish the link of accountability between citizens and their elected representatives. (Author/JR)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Citizenship Responsibility, Constitutional Law, Democratic Values, Federal Government, Government Role, Opinions, Political Attitudes, Political Power, Politics, Power Structure, United States History
NEA Publications, Order Department, The Academic Building, Saw Mill Road, West Haven, Connecticut 06516 (Stock No. 0948-7-00, $0.50)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Education Association, Washington, DC.