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When we think about how divided our nation currently is, about how far apart we are on so many issues, it can be easy to forget how much we once agreed upon. We had a common vision of a country that was beholden only to its own citizens - a country where no one’s rights were superior to anyone else’s and everyone’s rights were upheld equally in a court of law. While the Founders fiercely debated the shape of this new nation, they agreed on its premise: that a country could succeed if its leaders were chosen by and accountable to the people.

It was the idea that would define our new nation: that we are all created equal, endowed with certain, unalienable rights, that those rights are protected by our governments and that our governments derive "just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The consent of the governed is the foundation of our democracy. A democracy good men and women courageously fought and died for. A democracy that deserves even more respect and honor in the days ahead.

Frustration at the gridlock in Congress, weariness over the oversized influence of corporate interests in politics, acceptance of the privilege of the wealthy at the expense of the working class … all are symptoms of a nation in which the public has lost trust in our government’s ability to serve the people and to serve us well.

This Fourth of July, let’s honor the foundation of our country by taking active steps to give informed consent to our leaders. Register to vote. Commit to learning about an unfamiliar issue. Hear the voice of the opposition and listen to learn instead of to doubt. Challenge those who represent you and determine for yourself if they are really doing enough to live up to the vision of those who came before us.

If we’re going to keep moving America ever forward, we need to spend less time mourning the threats to our democracy and more time fighting to take it back. Our consent and our participation matters. I’m running for U.S. Senate to be a leader in Washington who speaks out for the voiceless, who stands up for the rights of all of us equally and who works with others to once again find that common ground that we can build a future on.

This Independence Day, let's recommit to honoring the potential of this country we love and to working as hard as we can with as many people as we can to raise up the people’s voices. Thank you for believing in our democracy and in our country. Thank you for standing with me.

I'm wishing you and your family a very happy Independence Day, and I'm hoping you'll join me in my campaign for the strong, healthy, grassroots democracy we both believe in.


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Originally posted to Shenna Bellows for Senate on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 01:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by BellowsforSenate.

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