United We Stand? Or Not

United We Stand? Or Not

Drunkenly waving the American flag at a frat party is not a real demonstration of love for country.
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During the Fourth of July, many in this generation show their patriotic spirit while posting on their favorite social media site. Young adults would post sayings like “back-to-back World War champs” or the typical “#Merica.” These trends through social media would suggest an increasing amount of patriotism in the younger generation, but is that entirely so? Patriotism and pride for America are steadily decreasing in the younger generation, and this attitude could eventually be the biggest challenge our generation will face. This generation’s attitude toward the government, the economy and the overall well-being of the country are declining, and this lack of nationalism could become a problem for our generation in the future.

People in this generation have grown up through many tough times. These people have seen a recession, the destruction of 9/11 and an overall decrease of world opinion on America as a country. Americans are finding it harder to be proud to be an American and become patriotic. The distaste for the government lies at the heart of our government. Some would use the word "corrupt," but most would say our government could use a reform. The younger generation has this view of the government. These people dealt with the consequences of actions a generation before committed. Neither the recession nor 9/11 was a direct result of the millennial generation's actions, hence why this generation is more distrustful of the American government than past generations. Voter turnout is usually low in the young adult age group, but lately this statistic has fallen even lower still. Fewer people are caring about their input in the government because they feel their opinions do not matter. The hatred toward the government could be a challenge to this generation because they will soon be running it, and if citizens cannot unify in the government, this country will not become better.

Trends show younger adults leaving the United States to study abroad or find work in other countries, and some young people don't believe America is the best place to live. Americans believe that the uneven wealth distribution, poor economy and high unemployment rates are enough to cause people to emigrate out of the United States.

Citizens are losing pride for this country, especially the millennial generation. With the loss of pride, the generation loses the faith they have in the country. They feel that this country has abandoned them and has failed as a government to help individuals prosper. The increasing economic gaps between the rich and the poor and increasing unemployment rates cause people to lose hope in this America. This feeling is a major challenge that we have to overcome. This generation has grown up seeing how not to run the country, and has only learned about the great achievements of America through a textbook. When this generation comes to power, I believe people will not know what to do, nor know how to fix or change our current government's state. This lack of knowledge coupled with the lack of patriotism could lead America into a further and faster down spiral.

The Pledge of Allegiance has been degraded since the beginning of this decade. Arguments that children's religious freedoms are violated by the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance is the main deterrent as to why this saying is rarely repeated anymore. This saying should be one of unification, no matter if the phrase "under God" is present. Citizens of the United States should be proud to pledge their allegiance to this country but through the younger generations many are not and find this saying to be a nuisance. The idea of unification and “united we stand” no longer holds importance to some of this generation.

I believe that the declining patriotism and lack of unity in the country, and specifically, in our generation, could potentially be a significant downfall to America. In order to grow as a nation, this generation needs to unify under the identity of Americans, though we're all different. We need to put aside common differences to make this nation better. Young adults need to look past political preference and economic status to see and do what could be best for this country and think about how to make this a country we can be proud of. We must strive to be part of a country with a solid government working for the betterment of the people so that we can become patriotic again. In doing this, when we Tweet and Instagram a picture and say #merica, we truly feel prideful.

Cover Image Credit: Shuttershock

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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