A column about a Hollywood movie star is not generally a subject you would expect to see in one of my columns nor the subject of a conversation I might have with you if we met. Other than enjoying a good movie, my opinion of most stars and their personal lives doesn’t rank very high on my priority scale.
As such you can imagine my surprise when a recent interview of Richard Dreyfuss caught my attention. Yes, the Richard Dreyfuss, the Oscar winning actor who starred in American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, Stakeout, What about Bob and Mr. Holland’s Opus among many other feature films.
In the interview Dreyfuss was expressing his concern about the direction of our nation and his desire to use his celebrity status to help create a renewed sense of ownership in the country. “We must teach our kids how to run our country before they are called upon to run the country…. If we don’t someone else will run the country,” according to Dreyfuss.
In 2009 he started a non-profit called The Dreyfuss Initiative whose mission is to teach our kids how to run the country with common sense and realism. Dreyfuss believes the lack of a basic knowledge of civics and civility is the root of what is ailing the country.
He believes the United States didn’t just happen. For centuries people were under the controlling interest of oppressive regimes that dictated everything from birth to death. According to Dreyfuss, the America Revolution was the most important political message in the history of human civilization and the miracle of America, if not properly maintained, will continue on its path to decay. He believes we must start telling the story of this country’s birth with candor and honesty. Who we are and why we are who we are, will go far to regain our devotion to the true gifts we have given to mankind; A nation by the people, for the people and of the people.
Dreyfuss believes politics have taken center stage in American government and not the US Constitution which should be central to everything we do and not on the peripheral. One interesting project Dreyfuss is trying to launch is to see high ranking federally elected officials sign and commit to the following statement:
“We the People of the United States in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
To date he has had no legislative takers on the request to sign the statement above which is the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Dreyfuss hopes to get a half a million citizens to sign the Preamble and then to call for a civil strike in the nation, where we the people do nothing for a 30 minute period …. no calling, no texting, no business conducted, no traveling or any activity of any kind…. to send a message loud and clear to our government that we, the people, are the sovereign power in this country and their authority comes from the people and not the other way around.
No doubt, this idea is over the top to prove a point, but let’s face it; our elected officials don’t listen to us. They continue to pass legislation that doesn’t pertain to them. They spin the truth and focus on themselves and their futures far more so than ours. The federal government needs to be reigned in and certainly I don’t have a better idea, nor have I heard anything coming out of Washington that gives me hope regarding the future of this country. They bicker and fight primarily about the differences between the two parties, constantly trying to get one up over the other.
Election after election we are told what they know we want and need to hear. Once elected nothing changes, the federal government continues to grow out of control while the people continue to go further in debt supporting their spending and poor governance habits.
If you are interested in learning more about The Dreyfuss Initiative go to www.thedreyfussinitiative.org. It’s not on the website yet but I think very soon they will have the opportunity for Americans to begin signing the Preamble to the US Constitution reaffirming our desire to be governed at the local level with a federal government that respects the citizens they are elected to serve.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.