During this 4th of July weekend we were thinking about the constitutional rights that make civic dialogue possible, including those in the First Amendment – the right to free speak freely, the right to assemble, the right to a free press and the right to petition government for redress of a grievance. Overall the Constitution gives us the right to a Rule of Law – fair treatment and fair processes. As many point out, these rights are not free, they come at a price. Part of that price is personal responsibility and accountability for being informed, for participating, and for the decisions we make. Another part is the willingness to sacrifice some of our individual interests and personal time for the greater common good. More dialogue about the balance between rights and responsibilities, and how we define the common good, could help both our country and our communities.
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