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Stephen P. Tryon

Posted on September 29, 2014 by Christine Crosby in 

Insist On Political Accountability in November

By Stephen P. Tryon

Voter apathy in the United States is reaching epic proportions.  Data from the Statistical Abstract of the United States indicates that only 37 percent of eligible residents participated in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Congressional elections.  Additionally, voter participation in federal elections from 1932 through 2010 was an average of 17 percent lower in non-presidential election years than in presidential election years.  Have you ever wondered why more Americans don’t vote today? How has this decrease in voter turnout affected the quality of our leadership and our country?

In the book, Accountability Citizenship, army veteran, former political insider, executive, and author, Stephen P. Tryon, reveals how the decades-old decline in U.S. voter participation has affected the country, and why it’s imperative that ordinary Americans get more involved in the business of Washington, D.C.  Written from a non-partisan perspective, Tryon presents the ultimate toolkit to empower individual citizens to participate in the American political process, and a step-by-step guide to restoring empowerment and efficiency in the government.

  • In this fascinating, timely, and eye-opening book, Tryon also reveals: The ways in which information is marketed and distributed today and how it discourages effective citizenship
  • Why Americans must teach and learn the skills of information-age citizenship to achieve a civil and productive dialogue on today’s issues
  • Why Americans vote more in presidential elections and not in congressional elections
  • How Americans can communicate and work with their Congressional representatives effectively
  • Why Americans must each hold their congressional representatives accountable for achieving meaningful goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable

“This book is my prescription for Americans to reestablish control of our government using the procedures provided in our Constitution. I believe our solutions lie not in changing the information stream-the free press is an inviolable element of our republic-but rather in changing our behaviors for processing information that the stream conveys,” says Tryon. “In this age of information, we have to hold each other accountable—private citizen and elected official alike—for adopting information-age behaviors in order to preserve a government that represents the will of the people.”

Insist On Accountability In 2014

Accountability Citizenship encourages readers to identify their top priority values and issues, then to use those values and issues to become well informed and to engage elected officials.My personal top priority is accountability for our Congress.  In this regard, I have pledged never to vote for an incumbent representative or senator who has not taken the Project Vote Smart Political Courage Test  or updated their web sites to provide visibility into all constituent correspondence.Over the past 20 years, the percentage of representatives and senators in our United States Congress who have taken the votesmart.org Political Courage Test has dropped from almost 80 percent to less than 20 percent.  When asked, politicians’ responses basically boil down to this:  they will not take the test because it puts them at political risk by creating a clear public record of where they stand on key current issues.  I am shocked that the very people with the power to send our sons and daughters into combat lack the courage to face a little political risk in the interest of supporting their oath to the Constitution of the United States.Survey technology has advanced rapidly in recent years.  My bank’s web site incorporates frequent surveys on a wide variety of topics.  As soon as I respond to these surveys, I see a pie chart displaying the total number of responses and how many people support each possible answer. Each of us should be able to log in to the web site for our representative and senators in Congress.  Our voter registration number and a password could create a secure way for us to submit our views on current issues and our top priorities. Once we have done this, we could see a summary of the input others in our district and state have submitted.  This is the only way we can know how the actions of our representatives and senators line up with the views of their constituents.

Join me by insisting on these two basic, non-partisan initiatives to strengthen America’s faith in the first branch of our government—the Congress.  Write or email your representative and senators.  Then find out who is running against your current representative and senators in next November’s election, and ask them to support these accountability initiatives.

I believe that the power of these initiatives justifies using them as a litmus test for your vote in next November’s congressional election.  Join me in asking your elected officials and candidates to support accountability by taking the Political Courage Test and by incorporating survey technology on their web sites.

Stephen P. TryonRunning for Congress in Utah as an unaffiliated candidate, Stephen Tryon was a Senior Vice President, Human Capital Management for online retailer Overstock.com . His past assignments at Overstock.com included managing the company’s logistics operations and international business. He joined Overstock in 2004 after 21 years as a Soldier. While in uniform, Steve served as the Legislative Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army, Director of Plans for the 10th Mountain Division, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy, and commander of a company of paratroopers. He holds degrees from the United States Military Academy and Stanford University and is the author of Accountability Citizenship (2013).

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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