We hear a lot about “rights” in America. We have the right to an attorney. We have the right to remain silent. We have the right to free speech, the right to privacy and the right to bear arms.

 Cruel and unusual punishment? Unreasonable search and seizure? Being tried twice for the same crime? All are violations of your rights. All these, and many more, are rights automatically conferred on you the moment you become an American citizen.

 But there is also a flip side to being an American — a side we don’t like to hear about so much in these days of “rights.”

 The flip side is “responsibilities.” Responsibility is the twin sister of rights. Ask any citizen what their rights are and they can spew them out like an auctioneer on steroids. Yet, ask the average citizen what the responsibilities of being an American citizen are and you’ll likely be met with a stare as empty as Nancy Pelosi’s campaign promises.

 Ergo, here are a few reminders of the responsibilities that all Americans share as citizens of the greatest country on the planet.

 • Pay your own way, nobody owes you a living and that includes other taxpayers. You have a responsibility to get a job, pay your bills and pay your taxes.

 • Respect and obey all federal, state and local laws.

 • Defend your country when called upon.

 • Take care of your own children. If you breed them, then clothe, house and feed them. Raise them, teach them right from wrong, and instill an appreciation in them for their country. Yes, this seems simple, but it’s obvious that a lot of Americans are not familiar with it.

 • Secure the future of America. We all have a duty to preserve what’s great about this nation so that future generations of Americans can experience the same love and patriotism as we do. Be prepared to defend your home and your country at all times.

 • Become an informed and educated voter. In recent years, there has been a big push to get all Americans to vote. Not everyone has to be a political junkie, but it would be wonderful if people took the time to become well informed about the basic political landscape instead of voting on who has the best TV ads.

 • Defend our Constitution. The Constitution contains the fundamental rules that we live under. Almost all of the “rights” we enjoy are defined and guaranteed by the Constitution. Yet, the Constitution is under attack daily by radical leftists and billionaires who want to “fundamentally change America.” It’s a cause that is literally worth fighting for because it is the core document that protects the rights enjoyed by all Americans.

 • Make America first. The rest of the world doesn’t really care whether you or I live or die — only our fellow Americans do, even during these politically challenging times. At the end of the day all citizens enjoy a special level of kinship — we are all family by the simple, and wonderful, virtue of being Americans.

 “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

— Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Opinions offered in If I Were King are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tri-County Times or its staff. Email the King at Some content adapted from the internet.

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