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In the time of the 13 colonies, the average person spent 16 hours a week on civic affairs - going to meetings, deciding where to build the schoolhouse, who would run the town. If you lived in America in the 1850s, every level of government was of consuming interest. Voter turnout was 75 percent.
How and why we've run so far off the rails of political engagement, I'm not sure, but if change is going to come, it's up to you and me.