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Accountability Citizenship

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Read this book if you want to be able to speak with your friends about your social and political beliefs with confidence. Striving to maintain a centrist perspective, Tryon presents a tool kit to empower citizen participation in the American political process. Technological changes in the way we present and process information coupled with inherent features of the free pre Read this book if you want to be able to speak with your friends about your social and political beliefs with confidence. Striving to maintain a centrist perspective, Tryon presents a tool kit to empower citizen participation in the American political process. Technological changes in the way we present and process information coupled with inherent features of the free press have changed the nature of the individual citizen's engagement with our elected public servants. Accountability Citizenship explains how we can restore accountability in government by accepting our personal accountability for some simple tasks we must do as individual citizens living in the age of information. The book is non-partisan. Readers are asked only to agree on the very basics-that the government of the United States is supposed to represent the people of the United States. The author makes a compelling case that changes in our information distribution technologies and business models discourage effective political participation by citizens. In the early days of our republic, information distribution was based on newspapers-subscription-based and geographically aligned with the representative structure of Congress. Over the past forty years, deregulation of television and radio along with the information technology revolution have disrupted this alignment. But we can restore accountability through the three steps of accountability citizenship: being appropriately positive, appropriately informed and appropriately engaged.


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Read this book if you want to be able to speak with your friends about your social and political beliefs with confidence. Striving to maintain a centrist perspective, Tryon presents a tool kit to empower citizen participation in the American political process. Technological changes in the way we present and process information coupled with inherent features of the free pre Read this book if you want to be able to speak with your friends about your social and political beliefs with confidence. Striving to maintain a centrist perspective, Tryon presents a tool kit to empower citizen participation in the American political process. Technological changes in the way we present and process information coupled with inherent features of the free press have changed the nature of the individual citizen's engagement with our elected public servants. Accountability Citizenship explains how we can restore accountability in government by accepting our personal accountability for some simple tasks we must do as individual citizens living in the age of information. The book is non-partisan. Readers are asked only to agree on the very basics-that the government of the United States is supposed to represent the people of the United States. The author makes a compelling case that changes in our information distribution technologies and business models discourage effective political participation by citizens. In the early days of our republic, information distribution was based on newspapers-subscription-based and geographically aligned with the representative structure of Congress. Over the past forty years, deregulation of television and radio along with the information technology revolution have disrupted this alignment. But we can restore accountability through the three steps of accountability citizenship: being appropriately positive, appropriately informed and appropriately engaged.

49 review for Accountability Citizenship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Tryon

    Why I wrote Accountability Citizenship, or Happy 19th Amendment Day June 4th: On this day in 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The measure, which granted women the right to vote, was ratified by the required number of state legislatures 14 months later, becoming part of our Constitution and, hence, federal law in August of 1920. The state legislatures of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan all ratified the amendment within days. Other states did not even bring it up Why I wrote Accountability Citizenship, or Happy 19th Amendment Day June 4th: On this day in 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The measure, which granted women the right to vote, was ratified by the required number of state legislatures 14 months later, becoming part of our Constitution and, hence, federal law in August of 1920. The state legislatures of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan all ratified the amendment within days. Other states did not even bring it up for consideration before it became law. was surprised at the number of states that initially rejected the amendment: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Can you imagine today how anyone could have considered it okay to NOT let women vote? In my book, Accountability Citizenship, I use the history of women's suffrage and the broader history of civil rights to support the premise that each of us should be willing to admit the possibility that our views or ideas are wrong... even, and perhaps especially, the views and ideas about which we are most passionate. Once we accept this premise, it is easier to accept the idea that we should respect the opinions of those with whom we disagree, and try to understand why we disagree. We might never agree with those people who think differently than we do, and that is okay. That is why our Constitution provides mechanisms for deciding what we will do in those thorny cases where we the people can't seem to reach a decision. We have the Supreme Court and, ultimately, we can change our Constitution if enough of us agree we should. In the case of women's suffrage, the 19th Amendment overturned a unanimous 1875 Supreme Court ruling (Minor v. Happersett) that held the Constitution did not give women the right to vote. And for those who look back and think this process just happens without any passionate disagreement or commitment, I offer the following history: Women formally started working for the right to vote in 1848. They played by the rules for over 65 years before Alice Paul formed the National Women's Party and began to adopt tactics considered radical at the time, like picketing the White House. For this, Paul and her fellow suffragists were insulted and assaulted, often while police looked the other way. Eventually, the women were arrested. When they began a hunger strike, they were force fed. If you object to waterboarding, you should read what being force fed meant in 1917--it was a life threatening procedure. When the press began to report what was happening, and a federal commission was appointed to investigate, some of the commissioners basically lied about the treatment of the jailed suffragists. Eventually, however, the public outcry was too great, or President Wilson was too embarrassed by the publicity, or something like that. He pardoned the jailed suffragists and they were released from jail. We have a wonderful country, and an amazing Constitution, but it only works when citizens are appropriately active, appropriately informed, and appropriately engaged. That is the message of Accountability Citizenship.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Was really glad to have gotten this signed copy through Goodreads! An optimistically centrist guide to becoming engaged in the process of making our elected officials accountable to the people who voted for them and pay their salaries. However, we do not, for the most part, contribute to their reelection campaign funding. And there is the rub. I found much to like in this book. The author taps into a few basic pieces of information about how our government was designed to work as set forth in th Was really glad to have gotten this signed copy through Goodreads! An optimistically centrist guide to becoming engaged in the process of making our elected officials accountable to the people who voted for them and pay their salaries. However, we do not, for the most part, contribute to their reelection campaign funding. And there is the rub. I found much to like in this book. The author taps into a few basic pieces of information about how our government was designed to work as set forth in the Constitution. He makes clear that legislative power and the power over the budget resides with the Congress. The President can only do what is authorized. That points to his main premise - that it is our vote for and engagement with them that should make our representatives answer to us. It is the voters' lack of engagement that opens the door for special interest groups with private money to pressure our representatives to make policy benefiting those special elite rather than the electorate. Here is where I question the premise. It ignores the main activity of any elected official: raising money for their reelection. Decisions are often based on whether it will increase their bottom line. Examples are abundant of representatives today not voting the will of a very engaged citizenry. You just have to remember Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Texas between 2012 and 2013. Whether they vote to restrict voting rights, labor rights, abortion rights, governing rights as in the state of Michigan, or environmental laws, the people have been loud and clear- they want democracy. The answer would seem to be to vote those unresponsive people out and hold them accountable. However, so many districts have been gerrymandered in the last 10 years that many districts, though showing an overall vote for another person, still can't get the incumbent out. The People Power of the 60's has been curtailed to the point that demonstrators today risk being arrested as terrorists and Daniel Ellsberg would have fled the country as so many whistleblowers are doing today. Given those harsh facts, I guess I can't be as positive about the process as the author suggests I should be. Staying on the need for people to vote, which is pointed out repetitively, the next section in the book instructs the reader on how to vote "smart." It means being informed. Staying truly informed is fraught with pitfalls when propaganda looks like news. (See "Deadly Spin" by Wendell Potter)There is a good list on page 27 in the book of the myths that corporate controlled media use to increase voter apathy. Identifying them was helpful as was the referral to the "votesmart.org" website. It is clear that being an engaged, well-informed citizen who learns and uses critical thinking skills in order to vote smart has dedicated a lot of time to this endeavor. However, most people are busy and distracted by our social media and entertainment. Neil Postman wrote a good book on democracy losing its way in "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business" or Aldous Huxley even earlier foreshadowed in his "Brave New World" that we would become a trivial culture distracted by pleasure. The author posits that we don't know how to make use of the vast amounts of info available to us today. I admire this book for trying to bring the focus back to what being a responsible citizen means by using the tool of the internet to evaluate information in the political arena. There is a lot available. But, the book continues to paint a rather rosy picture of hope and the American Dream. (I could quote statistics about the lack of upward mobility in this country in relation to other countries- anecdotes aside) Being informed also means respecting others of different perspectives rather than demonizing them as the evil 'other'. I think we have traveled a long way down the road of disrespect already. In summary, there is much to like about this basic guide to citizenship. The myths explaining voter apathy, the resource material to try to stay informed, the job description for an elected official from which a job evaluation could be determined were helpful to me as college educated person. However,to assume that elected officials are "passionately committed" (p44) to doing what is "best for the country", when they must raise millions for themselves to stay in office, is too much of a conflict of interest for most. It is human nature that "Power corrupts...." Working to get money out of politics should be a non-partisan goal. And that could have been addressed in the book. Otherwise, even as the voices of the citizens get louder and more engaged, the laws that suppress civil liberties will continue to be passed to protect the the few moneyed elite. Hence, the courts are the last resort of the middle class today. Not our representatives. I would still recommend the book to people just beginning to get involved. It has a simple, solid foundation for those with the time and energy to dedicate to saving what is left of our democracy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Madonna

    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads. This is a true statement of my opinion of Accountability Citizenship by Stephen P. Tryon. I found the book to be a rally to all citizens of the United States to take notice of what our "big" government is doing to us. Tryon wants us to all be informed on what our Senators, Representatives, and the rest of the Government, who after all work for us are doing! We pay them, right? Would you pay someone else and not know what you are paying them I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads. This is a true statement of my opinion of Accountability Citizenship by Stephen P. Tryon. I found the book to be a rally to all citizens of the United States to take notice of what our "big" government is doing to us. Tryon wants us to all be informed on what our Senators, Representatives, and the rest of the Government, who after all work for us are doing! We pay them, right? Would you pay someone else and not know what you are paying them for? Lets all find out what they are doing, or not doing, for us and vote them out of office if they are not doing what we want. And that is all this book is really about. I would have liked more detail on how to get the correct websites, and addresses...how many people even know the names of their legislative representatives? Changing things, says Tryon, is up to every one of us! Good work!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Young

    I would like every library in America to carry this book. It is non-partisan and positive and full of great tips for effective political participation in our society. In particular, I think Steve Tryon does a great job of giving the reader a sense of empowerment. Just the simple fact that 87 percent of Congress comes up for re-election every two years is something I think many of us learn in school, but then forget. Tryon also goes to great lengths to describe why we should seek to understand th I would like every library in America to carry this book. It is non-partisan and positive and full of great tips for effective political participation in our society. In particular, I think Steve Tryon does a great job of giving the reader a sense of empowerment. Just the simple fact that 87 percent of Congress comes up for re-election every two years is something I think many of us learn in school, but then forget. Tryon also goes to great lengths to describe why we should seek to understand the views of those with whom we disagree. The discussion of civil rights and women's rights are particularly powerful examples of why it is important to keep an open mind. There is a passion in this book that I find refreshing, because it seems to spring from the notion that my views are just as valid as the author's views, even if they are different.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I received a personalized signed copy through the Goodreads Givaways Firstreads. This is a very well written booklet that rallies every American to exercise their patriotic duty. The real challenge was to make it nonpartisan which he largely achieves. If you are dissatisfied at the current political climate, then this book will both inspire you and frustrate you. The frustration stems from the implied ease by which political gridlock could be broken though it will remain in place throughout time I received a personalized signed copy through the Goodreads Givaways Firstreads. This is a very well written booklet that rallies every American to exercise their patriotic duty. The real challenge was to make it nonpartisan which he largely achieves. If you are dissatisfied at the current political climate, then this book will both inspire you and frustrate you. The frustration stems from the implied ease by which political gridlock could be broken though it will remain in place throughout time. Being from Utah, I felt a connection to the writer and his point of view seemed familiar. I am unsure how the message would resonate with people from a very different background and political viewpoint.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    The author, Stephen P. Tyron, has over 21 years of service as an American soldier and many years years working in leadership and performance roles. His desire is to empower all citizens to participate in the political process. He asks that the government represent the people and that the people need to be accountable to then restore accountability in government. This is a good book for everyone to read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Retired Army Lt. Col. Tryon believes that citizens must be informed and take an active part in holding members of Congress and the president responsible for their actions or lack of actions. He believes that citizens should be informed and vote in all elections based on canidates positions on issues not party affiliation. Thought provoking discourse. This was a free advance reading copy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a non-partisan view geared to creating active voters instead of passive watchers. Points derived in the book compel readers to engage in the government through simply steps. The websites offered to help gather information on congressional decisions are great! Loved the book and believe suggestions in here could help to shift the political culture in Washington.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Borrowed this from my sister who won this as a first-reads book. Does that make me a "second-reads" winner? Hmm... I'll keep you posted on my thoughts about the book. Borrowed this from my sister who won this as a first-reads book. Does that make me a "second-reads" winner? Hmm... I'll keep you posted on my thoughts about the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I like to read non partism books. Think we should vote out all members of congress when they come up for re election

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I really enjoyed Steve Tryon’s book, Accountability Citizenship. Mr. Tryon is spot-on with this book. American citizens have the power to determine the direction of the United States and Accountability Citizenship is clear with its message that, through voting, we can ensure continued blessings for the nation. This book does not lean to any particular political party or special interest group. It remains in the middle of the road, but stresses the importance of holding our elected officials acco I really enjoyed Steve Tryon’s book, Accountability Citizenship. Mr. Tryon is spot-on with this book. American citizens have the power to determine the direction of the United States and Accountability Citizenship is clear with its message that, through voting, we can ensure continued blessings for the nation. This book does not lean to any particular political party or special interest group. It remains in the middle of the road, but stresses the importance of holding our elected officials accountable in supporting the values, beliefs and ideas that their constituents hold dear and want them to represent. This book goes further than stating the obvious that we must vote. Accountability Citizenship explains that we need to have easy access, through modern technology, to see how those in elected positions represent us through their voting choices. The methods are there to see what and how our elected officials are representing us we just need to act on it. What a great book to get individuals re-engaged in the American political process. I won this book through the Goodreads giveaway program, what a great program. I want to thank Mr. Tryon for making this book available through the giveaway program. I also want to thank Steve Tryon for his military service to the United States of America when he wore the uniform and his continued work today in making the USA even better with, Accountability Citizenship.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Boss

    One of the most unbiased political books ever written

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    He has some good points about how to break down the information that's out there so you can understand government and the actors and vote well. He has some good points about how to break down the information that's out there so you can understand government and the actors and vote well.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Unknown Unknown

    Good book. Well written. Some good points... some not so good ones. I'll let you judge it. I Recommend this to people interested in a book on American politics. Received from a goodreads givaway Good book. Well written. Some good points... some not so good ones. I'll let you judge it. I Recommend this to people interested in a book on American politics. Received from a goodreads givaway

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Tryon

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Kitka

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christa Witfoth

  20. 5 out of 5

    Renee Booker

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sylvie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ann

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Zitsch

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen Supinger

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Howard

  31. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Read

  32. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Herston

  33. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  35. 5 out of 5

    Vennie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  38. 5 out of 5

    Darcee Kraus

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  40. 4 out of 5

    Skylar

  41. 5 out of 5

    Max

  42. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bainbridge

  43. 5 out of 5

    Lise Jones

  44. 4 out of 5

    Seth

  45. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

  46. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  47. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  48. 5 out of 5

    M

  49. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

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