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Personal-Responsibility, Redux

And then there have been all those indirect jabs made by someone other than the candidate (see, Geraldine Ferraro's comments about race ;and Samantha Power's comments (likely) about gender that hit squarely on the nose of the opposing Democratic contender without the candidate ever lifting a finger or issuing an apology. &

Meanwhile, the financial market got a $30 billion dollar session of mouth-to-mouth from the Federal Reserve Bank because creditors made overly risky loans to borrowers who made overly risky promises. &

Seems like personal-responsibility is a hot topic, whether it has to do with the 2008 election, politics, the economy, or & ldquo;silly little laws & rdquo; . So what can be said about a nation seemingly at odds with accepting personal responsibility? Is it just that it's very difficult or impossible to do in public?


What if, just for starters, it's simply more convenient for leaders to blame the government, blame the wife, or just blame anyone beside one's own poor judgment? And what if, for the sake of argument, Democrats have inadvertently helped shift leaders taking responsibility over many, many years? &

There's a difference between blaming people who weren't involved in creating a situation for the situation they now find themselves in, & agrave; l & agrave; Hurricane Katrina, and asking people to stay involved in creating solutions.

Maintaining the levies, coordinating FEMA, having an emergency plan; these were all the responsibilities of local, state and federal governments. &

But aside from natural disasters, how many of us Democrats immediately depend on government to fix the problem, & agrave; l & agrave; housing crisis, public education crisis, high gasoline crisis, and almost every other human-created situation?

We have responsibilities to our creditors, to remain involved in our children's education, and to find creative solutions to challenging circumstances, yet too often Democrats will turn to government assistance in bailing us out instead of assessing how our decisions helped create the problem.


I believe there will always be a necessary place for a well-run, well-organized government, which is why I'm still a registered Democrat and not a Libertarian or a Republican.

But I'm advocating in favor of transforming a party that is good at demanding rights, but unconvincing when it comes to accepting the responsibilities that go with those rights.

So for instance, when the government promises universal health care, or less oil dependency, or better educated children can we really believe the government can do this without our help? & Instead of voting & ldquo;yes & rdquo; to the offer, isn't it time we ask ourselves, & ldquo;how will my personal-responsibility come into play? & rdquo; &

I don't have a magic bullet solution for revitalizing the party, except to say, let's stop giving away our power and leadership to the government and let's push for more personal-responsibility.

What are some of your thoughts about Dems focusing on rights over responsibilities? Do you think this a circular argument, where one needs certain rights before being able to accept responsibility? Are there any politicians who you see taking responsibility particularly well in your neighborhood? What about those politicians running for president?

-Citizen Voices blogger Alma Sove has spent most of her life in San Diego and is currently attending law school.