What Is a Bad Citizen?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services lists all the basic rights and responsibilities a good citizen must uphold, so bad citizenship can be defined by the lack of these characteristics. Bad citizens are ill-informed about local matters and generally uninvolved in the political system.

The USCIS explains that the United States is founded upon the shared values of freedom, liberty and equality. While good citizens promote and uphold these values, bad citizens disregard or actively work against them. The organization notes that good citizens participate in the democratic process by voting for candidates they believe uphold the rights and values of the American public. It is generally regarded that bad citizens do not take their civic duty to vote seriously and that they do not respect the basic rights and beliefs of other citizens.

The Manchester Centre for Political Theory explains that some behaviors blur the line between bad and good citizenship, such as whistle-blowing. The article explains that many people consider whistle-blowing to be an act of bad citizenship and disloyalty, while others insist that whistle-blowers are merely loyal to the higher ideals of their nation and its citizens, even if it means taking actions against the current political systems.