One of the unique characteristics and basic tenets of a democracy is that its citizens get to vote – both figuratively and literally – and that each citizen is able to live the life of their choosing – to be able to say and do what they want.
We are a democracy. A democracy is a form of government that is “of, by, and for” the people. Of the People means the government is comprised of regular citizens; by the people means the government is elected by its citizens; and for the people means that the sole purpose of government is to act in ways that benefit us.
The democratic process is the way we make that happen. We make the “of the people” part happen by running for public office; we make the “by the people” part happen by doing the things needed to elect our best to public office; and we make the “for the people” part happen by doing those things that keep us educated on important issues, that keep elected officials aware of our points of view, and that enforce our laws. The democratic process is not a methodology, but a way of living that keeps our country strong.
When we invest time, energy and money in something, we tend to care more about that something. So actions that keep us involved in the democratic process help us care about and appreciate our democracy and freedoms. They are the actions most closely associated with citizenship.