January 1st is a day of declaring resolutions. People set goals for habits they would like to develop in the New Year, such as eating healthy, exercising more, or spending more time with family and friends. However, Ralph Nader suggests that in addition to our usual resolutions, we make civic engagement a priority in 2013. In his blog for The Huffington Post, Nader argues that people should contribute equal time and attention to the “democratic arts” as they do to their other quality of life interests. When people act as practitioners of the democratic arts—as active citizens—who keep watch over governmental institutions and agencies as well as multinational corporations and, in doing so, challenge injustices, real change can be enacted by real citizens who hold more power than the politicians who rise with false promises of hope.
Let’s make 2013 the year of the active citizen.