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Thomas Jefferson once said, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly half of all Americans share the same sentiment. Forty-nine percent of those polled believed the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.” Considering the nation will be choosing a new president soon, these numbers take on an especially ominous weight. Such sentiments go a long way toward explaining low voter turnouts in states across the nation in recent years. Fortunately, there are still candidates of virtue, moral character, and fortitude to be found. It is our responsibility as voters to seek them out, and, when the time comes, to head to the polls and vote our consciences. To train up such candidates to bring integrity back into the realm of politics is one of the core principles of the Commonwealth Policy Foundation. It is the responsibility of all of us as voters, however, to shake off our fears and put our trust back in the political process that is so unique to this nation. Yes, the government may have given us reason to fear, but we are the only ones who can replace that fear with newfound hope and optimism.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center