Politics: A Republic, If We Can Keep It
America is the world’s last best hope. That has been the thinking of many as the years have rolled along. There have been moments in our brief history when the idea of America seemed close to evaporating all together. The future seemed uncertain during the Revolution that set us free, and things were incredibly bleak as brother fired at brother outside the town of Gettysburg. Yet, as a nation, we have always prevailed. But today, it is not hard to see the dark clouds of uncertainty on the horizon. Our nation, and consequently the freedom of every man, are in jeopardy.
I am not a political expert or some doomsday prophet. I am simply a college student who cares deeply about the future of our country. Over the last few years, I have watched as my friends and peers ignored the monumental events occurring all around them. While I was in high school, I did everything in my power to try to inform and inspire them to take some stake in their own future because it’s true that our national future will be directly linked to our own individual future. But the majority of the time my efforts were unheard. The apathy that exists with young people of America is nothing short of disturbing. What many fail to realize is that the problems that exist today will inevitably have to be solved by us tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong; this is not solely a problem for the millennial generation. There are few Americans today that truly have a grasp on what is actually going on. But who can blame them? We live in a society that coddles us, and doesn’t really force us to pay attention to the world around us. Because of this, we have left it to our representatives to make decisions for us, with almost no questions asked.
This is dangerous, and flies in the face of our original intention. For our government and our nation to work properly, all citizens must play a part. There are defined systems of checks and balances within government, but the people are the ones who ultimately check the government. When we submit to apathy, we allow the size of government to grow. And with this comes a serious threat to our rights and liberties.
As the Continental Congress came to a close in September of 1787, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked him what kind of government they had given America. He responded with, “A republic, if you can keep it.” That short remark rings as true now as it did in the 18th century. Our nation is facing some difficult days, and it is our job, our duty, to keep our hard fought republic intact. We must work toward the goal of restoring America, and we must refuse to allow the idea of America to die on our watch.