When your opponents are complaining about how powerful you are, don’t interrupt them. When the government cronies complain about your ability to frustrate their plans, let them keep talking. You are just doing your job as a citizen.

A donor told me he was increasing his giving to our organization because he’d been to a meeting where politicians were complaining about us. They made it clear they didn’t like us exposing their records and self-serving antics.

“I figured if these powerful guys are so upset about your emails, tweets, and articles, then I want to be on your good side,” he jokingly emailed me later.

His generosity will be put to good use, reaching even more people. I did, however, have to remind him – if only for the sake of my own conscience – that those politicians who sneer, snicker, demean, and demagogue us aren’t actually upset by what we do; they are upset by the fact citizens have a way to keep political score.

Despite their lofty rhetoric, politicians don’t like an informed electorate. They don’t like people asking pesky questions. They don’t like taxpayers knowing the details of their backroom dealmaking. They don’t like citizens keeping score.

Too bad!

Those seeking to undermine our republic and erode liberty don’t want witnesses to their dirty deeds. They encourage us to disengage from government, they pretend it is a virtue to be “apolitical.” They promise to tell us what we need to know about what they have done to us, er, for us.

Our system of government requires an informed and engaged citizenry. Unlike other nations, we were purposely formed as a self-governing republic. We don’t have the constitutional ability as citizens to put government on autopilot. It requires the constant care and zealous vigilance of the citizenry. It has always been that way.

The most awesome and awe-inspiring appellation in our republic is not president or governor, senator or councilman. You can search the world and not find a more sought-after or desired title than that of “citizen of the United States.”

Our sacred job as citizens, for each other and our posterity, is to help each other be as informed and as engaged as possible. Yes, it will make the power-hungry, self-serving cronies whine. Let them whine: You have a republic to save.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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