Accountability Citizenship
by Stephen P. Tryon

"Creating a positive structure for processing information is the first step to being appropriately positive."

Tryon began writing this book as “election-year therapy” and now wishes to share his insights to empower Americans to participate fully in the political process. He examines our history, citing slavery, women’s lack of voting rights, and the treatment of Native Americans as examples of how we have at times failed to live up to our democratic ideals. This could mean that we are not always acting at our best now, despite many advances. The remedy is for more Americans to vote and do so with unclouded perceptions. In an age when media floods us with what he calls “myths,” Tryon suggests three remedies to help us act rationally in the political realm. The first remedy is definitely to vote. The second is to develop and use what he calls “Congress 2.0,” which would be a simple accountability tool that would measure the popularity of our elected representatives’ actions and policies on key issues. The third is to become “appropriately positive” by searching diligently for unbiased news sources and reducing the time spent passively accepting media input.

As a twenty-one-year Army veteran, now a highly placed executive in industry, Tryon is well placed to express these issues, to which he has devoted considerable study. He writes clearly, striving to maintain a centrist view that will appeal to a large readership, and offers footnotes to underpin his assertions. The author suggests one Internet service, Vote Smart, currently offering evaluations of politicians. He has also helpfully included sample letters that can be written to voter’s representatives to urge them to submit to such evaluations for the benefit of the constituency. His book presents a rational means for ordinary citizens to set priorities for voting without becoming overwhelmed, or being fooled, by the glut of media input.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home