Every time I get an alert on my phone, I freeze. Now, before you think, ‘Wow, she’s crazy’ or ‘Weirdo,' let me explain why. Every time I look at my phone, at least in recent memory, I am getting a news alert that is actually terrifying. Gone are the days when news was something sweet, like ‘Local Dog Finds Boy In Well’ or ‘Sweet Elderly Lady Celebrates 105 Years Of Life.' No, we’ve entered into an age that has talks of nuclear war, shady politics, and the politicians behind said shady acts. You have riots and marches. You have individuals shouting across a table at each other, just trying to get .04 seconds of air time to shout their point at the viewer.
And every time I happen to chance across one of these stations, no matter their political affiliation, I get angry. I don’t get angry because I don’t agree with their ideas, or because I think one of them did something shady (although sometimes I do), no, I get angry because politicians act more like spoiled, petulant brats, worse than a room full of toddlers at daycare.
I remember sitting in my tenth grade AP United States History class and being shocked. Shocked because people, with completely different view points, came together to fight for the common good. Of course there were a ton of duels, and even then, there was some...erm...shady dealings going on, but that seems to be the status quo in any government from Rome (Et tu Brute?) to Ancient Egypt (Just look up the defacing of Hatshepsut) to the UK and Ireland (Bloody, Bloody Sunday, anyone?) and the United States. But, beyond that, the founders of our great nation made sacrifices for the common good of the American people. But now? Now politicians seem less and less like the representatives of the people, and more and more like the representatives for secret dealings and secrets that could potentially jeopardize the US and her people.
I say this with a sort of dramatized urgency, but truly, looking back at scandals that have wracked the nation in the past century, it’s a little alarming. Looking through a historical lens allows us all to take a guess at what our future may hold. Although the future is ever changing, the thing that has and will always stay the same is man's free will. The free will to formulate his or her own opinions. The will to believe or not believe in what is being presented to them. The will to take a stand against the injustices and tragedies that plague his or her own world. The will to hope for and strive towards a better tomorrow.
When I say this isn't my America, it isn't meant to be a dramatic statement, a war cry that bellows and rumbles from deep within my chest. I state it as a young female American, who hopes to make this warring America something that she would be proud to call her home. Because as it stands right now, America is not a place for intellectual growth, or a place where ideas and opinions are valued and respected, but a place in which harsh and heavy words are flung accusingly towards one another. Where people fear to voice their thoughts to others only to have those voices be judged and shouted at.
Looking through a historical lens allows us all to take a guess at what our future may hold. Although the future is ever changing, the thing that has and will always stay the same is man's free will. The free will to formulate his or her own opinions. The will to believe or not believe in what is being presented to them. The will to take a stand against the injustices and tragedies that plague his or her own world. The will to hope for and strive towards a better tomorrow.
This America is not the one our founding fathers hoped for. The founding fathers strove for freedom of speech, that rights would be equal across all genders, all races and afforded to anyone who was granted citizenship within this new nation. They prided themselves on trying to set up a new nation in which, eventually, everyone would be treated equally, with basic, unshakable, human rights. The moment we began to infringe on those rights, we lost the American way.