Dr. P.D. Woods
I have been teaching seminars and studying the federal government in Washington for 25 years. My classes have taken place not only in Washington, but also across the country. In that time, I have seen many changes in peoples’ attitudes toward government, both here in the capital and in states and localities.
Cynicism of government at all levels seems to permeate the American society. Of great concern to me is this lack of appreciation for the only country in the world that has ever tried to do so much for so many all at the same time.
Our form of government is that of a republic. The word comes from the Latin res publica which means public thing or matter, hence the opening line of the U.S. Constitution,
“We the people...”
Such a notion suggests that care and cultivation of the republic by all of us is a responsibility to keep it alive, growing, and evolving. Perhaps, we have been ripping at the republic because of just what we want or lack, rather than nurturing it by having the same sense of community that built this country.
Responsible citizenship suggests an informed people who make their elected officials accountable for the spending of the public’s money. Disinterest, perhaps, has contributed to cynicism. Disinterest by the people will not make the elected officials accountable.