Perspectives: Are we willing to make a difference?

OPINION – I have often wondered if my voice matters.

With the passing of Obama’s executive orders that strip us of our rights in times of peace and with Congress passing bills such as the NDAA or Detainee Bill (March 2012), why are we not angry? Why are we not shouting outrage from the rooftops?

As American citizens, we can exercise our First Amendment rights to speak out or protest what is happening. Are we taking advantage of these rights or passively sitting by, waiting for someone else to make the changes we desire?

The First Amendment gives us the rights to practice the religion of our choosing, to speak freely against the government without interference, to gather in public together, print materials or even protest in a nonviolent way.

What power we have.

Yet we hardly even show up to vote. Do we feel defeated? Do we feel that our individual voice will not make a difference? We have busy lives. We work, raise families and enjoy hobbies. But what are we doing to ensure and maintain our freedom? It’s ironic that we are so busy working for the pursuit of happiness that we fail to realize our core happiness is afforded to us by our rights and freedoms. Maybe we should give it more of our time and devotion.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks used their First Amendment rights to change civil liberties and draw attention to human rights. Maybe the majority of us will not find our names added to the history books, but we too can make our dent in the universe.

Bridget Mergens wanted to start a small after-school Bible club at her high school. Her principal told her she could not.  Bridget challenged authority and the case – Westside Community Schools v. Mergens (1990) – went all the way to the Supreme Court. The resulting decision made it possible for a voluntary non-curriculuum related club, such as a religously oriented one, to meet at a public school.

Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, changed the face of political activism and human rights when she refused to give up her seat to a white person when she was riding on a bus and the bus driver ordered her to do so.

Cesar Chavez, a migrant worker, fought for union rights that supported fair compensation and working conditions for migrant workers.

None of these had a larger megaphone than the rest of us.  None had endless resources of money and time. They simply spoke out.

Tremendous change starts with one person.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,” Nelson Mandela said. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

There are over 300 million American citizens. There are only 535 members of Congress that govern this nation and make the laws. Our politicians are definitely  outnumbered. We have more power than we realize to create change.

Many people have thrown their hands up and have accepted defeat, as though we must adapt to laws or changes that threaten our free society.  We believe we cannot fight the government “machine,” that we cannot stand up to Big Brother.

But we can.

As long as we have free speech, we can inspire change. Many have fought for, died and sacrificed to uphold these rights. Is it not our duty as citizens to continuously fight for our rights? Our Congress needs true patriots. We have a duty to vote and ensure that those that lead our nation are true freedom fighters. An overhaul is in order.

At the very least, it is worth 15 minutes of our time to enter a voting booth.


Kate Dalley is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are hers and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Brennan Newman June 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Incredible article! I don’t know why anyone ever thought Obama would stand up for our rights any more than Bush did. I bet his voters were disappointed after he signed the NDAA, allowing indefinite detention of American citizens. Luckily, citizens and state governments alike are starting to fight back against it (more about that here: If Obama thinks he can subjugate the American people that easily, he’s got another thing coming…

  • merg June 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The American people do not feel that their right are being taken away because it has not effected their daily lives.
    Your voice matters to those of us that are awake.
    We hope that with time more people will wake. It takes hard work and dedication from people like you.
    Thank you for helping to spread the world

  • Becky Thompson June 6, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Very well written and said. I got into a heated debate just last night with several gentlemen who told me I was full of it when I was explaining about the executive order and just what it would mean to us. I have come to the realization that several people can read the same article and come away with different preceptions. But I will continue my crusade to get people to become better informed about their government officials.

  • Fred June 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Many I speak to do not even know about the NDAA or also that Hatch voted for this bill. Unbelievable. Everyone should start to listen to the following internet radio shows to find out the truth:

    Also James David Manning who is a pastor out of Harlem and speaks the truth. Very hard hitting. His videos can be viewed on You Tube.

  • Karen June 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Only the fear-mongers of Fox see the Executive Order signed by President Obama as something sinister. I’ve read multiple news articles about it (rather than just Fox) and not one sees what Fox fears about it. I recommend reading a variety of news sources to get the full picture on any story.

  • Kara June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    The issues we’re facing go much deeper than simply a failure to vote, and fixing them is going to take much more than spending a few minutes in a voting booth.

    As Kate pointed out, these freedom stripping bills are being passed right now. We have a Republican controlled Legislative branch. We have a Democrat in the White House. The majority of those voting yes to the bill were Republicans (Democrats were split down the middle, half yes, half no). The president could have vetoed it, but did not. Neither side is fighting for our rights, and neither side is fulfilling campaign promises.

    This isn’t simply a matter of hopping in a voting booth to make the crucial decision between R vs. D, or liberal vs. conservative. Jim Matheson (D) and Bob Bishop (R) both voted yes on this. We can’t pretend fixing this is as simple as hopping in a voting booth and choosing whoever it is they’re running against.

    It’s important that we keep ourselves informed and that we fight back. Call your representative. Demonstrate. Support others who protest even if you don’t agree with their stance. It’s unacceptable that the protests in Chicago and New York are erupting with police violence; and it’s unacceptable that major news organizations justify the police violence. Question what’s happening. Question the bias in mainstream media.

    Don’t just sit back. Fight back.

  • urbanboy June 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Exactly, Karen. See all sides, not just one. #open your minds

  • First Admendment June 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I remember Gov. Hatch saying, “Trust me no US citizen rights will be violated.” Children’s right of freedom of expression are violated every day they go to school. The color of someone’s hair or how they dress has nothing to do with learning. And instead of teaching how the Mormons settled Utah, they should be teaching are kid’s about these type of issues.

    “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
    Salman Rushdie

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.