(StatePoint) For most Americans, politics can feel like a spectator sport, especially after witnessing a presidential election. But there are many ways average citizens can take active and engaged roles in local, state and national politics.
"We can't just watch from the sidelines," says Loren J. Enns, author of, "The Sword of Liberty," a new novel which tells the story of an America where the government has been compromised by a cabal of debt-addicted politicians who must be stopped by regular citizens relying on the power of the Constitution. "Our founders gave us the emergency authority to reign-in the federal government."
Here are some ways you can make your political voice heard:
Vote: According to Census statistics, only 63 percent of citizens ages 18 years or older voted in the last presidential election. Every election you should go to the polls and take your children with you, so they learn an important civics lesson.
Learn: Read history books to gain perspective and insight. Study the Constitution thoroughly and know your rights. Use Internet search engines to read up on everything from our founding fathers to current issues.
"In fact, a long forgotten clause in the U.S. Constitution, Article 5, can be used to reconvene the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in order to bypass our government and ratify amendments," says Enns, who is advocating for a new Constitutional Amendment to establish a national initiative process by which citizens could vote on federal legislation and a national recall process by which they could remove congressmen, senators and even the president from office.
Meet Your Politicians: Did you know many politicians host open office hours when citizens can visit and have questions and concerns addressed? Find out when visiting hours are and make an appointment. Prepare by writing out what you plan to say. If meeting in person is not possible, write, call or email.
Stay Informed: Be an educated activist by keeping up with current events. Get news about the economy, health care, taxes and other issues that affect you from a variety of unbiased sources. "For example, today our national debt is skyrocketing toward $16 trillion," says Enns. "And every taxpayer's share is $139,000, with many therefore believing that the government is driving America towards bankruptcy. And regular citizens actually can help change this."
Organize: There is strength in numbers. Get your friends together and start an organization. From the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Tea Party, recent years have seen grassroots organizations rise to national prominence. You can use online resources like Facebook and Twitter to quickly and inexpensively disseminate information about your events and issues you care about.
"Years from now, when history books are written, what will they say about you?" asks Enns, whose new novel "The Sword of Liberty" is being published in paperback and as an eBook, available as a free download from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and www.theswordofliberty.com/purchasebook.htm.
If you don't like the status quo, don't be a passive complainer. Get involved and make a difference!