Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Michael Ryan: Call to Arms

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Michael Ryan: Call to Arms

Article excerpt

A recent Gallup Poll listed the nation's top 14 problems, at least in Americans' minds. The list, in order of most-mentioned to least-mentioned:

- No. 1) Dissatisfaction with government

- No. 2) The economy

- No. 3) Jobs

- No. 4) Immigration/illegal aliens

- No. 5) Health care

- No 6) Terrorism

- No. 7) Education

- No. 8) Ethical/moral/family decline

- No 9) Federal debt/deficit

- No. 10) Poverty/hunger/homelessness

- No. 11) Iraq/ISIS

- No. 12) National security

- No. 13) Foreign policy

- No. 14) Race relations

Can you guess what they all have in common?

Perhaps just this: I can't think of a single one of those problems that can't be made better, directly or indirectly, with a more informed and involved citizenry.

As broad and intractable as all those challenges are, their solutions start with an engaged populace -- knowledgeable, grounded folks acting within the framework of the Constitution and our beautiful, unprecedented system of self-governance.

In short, civics.

This is the spirit of Morris Communications' new civics initiative that we call ROAR: Renaissance of American Responsibility.

It is also the reason behind an old-fashioned "ROAR for America" rally we're hosting from 7 to 8 p.m. May 6 at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th Ave. Attendance is free but space is limited, so come early.

We'll have some great inspirational speeches, some ideas on how to make America even better and lots of things to feel good about. How often does that happen anymore?

It's also a "call to arms," so to speak: a community pep rally for civic pride and engagement.

Knowing Topeka the way I do -- I spent 19 years at The Topeka Capital-Journal, if you can believe that -- I know I'm preaching to the choir. …

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