How to Be a Citizen Essay

Submitted By danamason66
Words: 711
Pages: 3

In a democracy the quintessential citizen performs responsibilities and receives rights not offered in other forms of government. Rights given to citizens can be exercised in steps. When participating in a democracy, you have to the right to voice opinions and become a catalyst for any necessary change in the country. Citizenry is in fact the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life. The first step to exercising citizenship in a democracy is becoming educated. Education is the key to making informed decisions when voting, protesting, and determining if the country is going in the proper direction. In order to become educated in democracy it is best to take advantage of free outlets of learning. In the United States there is a wealth of information from media outlets such as television news and news papers. In addition to the news, many democratic governments have public schools and offer aid for post-secondary learning. If citizens cannot become educated about the world they live in, the democracy is weakened. After becoming educated the next step is choose a position. Although democracies are one nation, they are often times separated into parties with different views on how things should be run. For instance in America the two parties that reflect the views of the United States are the conservative republican party and the liberal democratic party. In order to choose a position, there must be a proper level of education in order to form an intelligent opinion on how the direction of the country should go. Once a position is chosen you can go about participating in politics and civic life. Once you have decided upon a position in a democracy, the next step is to uphold the civic responsibilities that come along with it. A very important form of civil responsibility is paying taxes. In a democracy taxes are required to be paid by every citizen. The money from taxes is then administered to federal programs like social security and free education. It is a responsibility to pay taxes to your country. Paying taxes is a practice which keeps government funded programs up and running. With the responsibility to become educated and pay taxes, there is an allocation of rights. One of these rights is the right of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the right to defy or speak out against government legislation in order to cause a specific change. For example, in United States history, African Americans fought for equal rights. Though some African Americans chose violence to protest, others chose their right to non-violently voice their desire for change in this country. Their quest for