The American Dream is a representation of the people, and we fail to live up to that standard every day. I hope we find what made America special.

America was built on the premise that there is no distinction between a ruler and his subjects, and that the people are more capable of self-government than those who see themselves above the people. Nobody is above the law, and the law is agreed upon by the people.

America is a nation that strives to represent its people’s ideals through electing government officials by the majority say, after having gone through the electoral college. Our nation is one that strives to provide equal opportunity for all, provided that the people will work for it. Have we lived up to the American ideals our country was founded on in recent years?

I would infer that we have not. In the midst of election season, and in the midst of a pandemic, the American people have been more divided than ever. A division in America is nothing new, but this division lacks direction. No longer are we fighting for a cause, or being martyrs to the doctrine of our beliefs, but instead, we are rioting, making conspiracy theories, showing blatant disregard for other’s safety, and much more. I genuinely believe that this problem stems from a lack of representation in office.

When we turn on the television, we do not see people who look like us, act like us, or people who have the same standard of moral integrity that we do. No matter what spectrum of political beliefs you agree with, chances are you don’t feel that any member of the senate, congress, judiciary, or executive branch does what you would do in your position. Their incompetence has led people to believe, perhaps rightfully so, that the people in power are plotting against them. This is for the same reason that the average salary of a congress member borders 120,000 dollars, but almost every single one leaves office with a net worth in the tens of millions.

How can a nation be run by elitists, who perpetuate scandals and keep secrets, who do not represent the average person? How has our nation come to the point that we have tainted our representative system with nepotism, dishonesty, pedophilia, and lots of money? The elites who are supposed to be our voice are the same elites preparing to pass laws that negate the constitution and even take offensive speech from our mouths. This system even reaches to our education, in which a majority of students from high-end universities with political donors petitioned to ban the first amendment. Not only have politicians made a mockery out of the money we provide them by taking it for themselves, but they also strive to keep us uneducated, so we don’t know when they abuse their power.

Nobody ever questions why it is that, in recent history, those running for office are only those with political backgrounds, family with political backgrounds, or backgrounds filled with excesses of money. In the modern era, it seems that we have become a glorified dynasty, unwilling to revert to our original, superior form, and unwilling to admit abuse of power. The American Revolution started because of a three percent tax, yet the average American household today involuntarily contributes 24% of what they are paid for their hard work.

Representation is the key to American ideals, and we live in a time in which rich, powerful, political figures stay in power. In a nation that shows us every day that the politicians are disconnected from the people, how can we find a figure to unite behind? How can we trust the system? How can we enact change? I sincerely hope that we find out very soon. 

Gerstell Academy Leadership and Change Section 3

Senior level Leadership class responses, section 3/3

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