In response to an earlier post about how we have been changed from citizens to consumers:

Reading this post, i was reminded of these remarks by the
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison at fundraiser for my congressman, Rush

These are courtesy of Andrew Tobias’s blog: “When I was young
we used to be called citizens—American citizens. Some of us
were called ‘second class’ citizens, yet the term, the category,
the aspiration was citizenship. Some time after the end of World
War II another definition of Americans arose — ‘consumers.’
Every narrative, advertisement, political promise was to, for and
about the powerful, courted and always obeyed American
Consumer. So we did—consume. Happily,
extravagantly, mindlessly—until the credit card, the mortgaged home
or homes, the college tuition loans came due. Now the category has
changed again. We are now simply taxpayers or not-taxpayers.
Think of the difference, the cognitive and emotional difference
between thinking of oneself as a citizen and regarding oneself as
merely a taxpayer. If I am simply an American taxpayer, I am
alarmed about where my money goes; I may even resent the recipient,
wonder whether he or she or it (the institution) is worthy of my
money. On the other hand, if I am principally an American citizen,
I have to wonder about what’s best for my country, my state, my
neighbors, the young, the elderly and the unfortunate. That shift
in national identity informs so much of the discourse and the
political choices of our representatives. Obviously, I prefer
the label ‘citizen,’ which is precisely why I admire Rush
Holt. To me his works, his advocacy, his personal and
political philosophy stem from the concept of citizenship and what
it demands of us. From education to healthcare, to women’s
rights, civil rights, support for artists—his concerns and labor
are those of a citizen for citizens. And that commitment is
rare these days. If you help him, support him, with your resources
and your own enthusiastic commitment, you will be a champion for
that ancient and blessed definition: Citizen.”