By Emma Stinocher.
When typed into the google search engine, “Is America stupid,” a plethora of pages and articles will come up describing the idiocy of the American government, people, and morals. When American citizens are asked about it, most will agree and proclaim that America’s government is too corrupt, too ignorant, and too constricting. Others will say that they are simply not doing enough. In their minds, America is too far gone for them to do anything about it. They believe that the great American dream is dead. If the American Dream is dead, it is only because these people have killed it.
In the summer of 1776, a fledgling set of colonies owned by Great Britain claimed their independence declaring that they would no longer live under the tyranny of an oppressive government. To open the document that established their national government, they began as, “We the People of the United States of America” (Constitution). It was not, “We the educated masses, the rich, and the strong of the United States of America.” It specifically included the common and uneducated alongside the refined and the enlightened.
In 1863, this country was in the midst of a tragic and gory civil war. During this time, at one of the bloodiest battle sites, this country’s president stood up and told the widows and orphans of that country “that [those] dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” (Lincoln).
Both of these documents claim the people as the holders of the government, not the opposite. This revolutionary American dream is now believed squashed by some governmental decree long ago and that the modern American has no power to fix. This is a lie. As the Founding Fathers had just freed themselves from a tyrannical gag, they insured that the citizens of this new country would always have the power to save themselves. The First Amendment made to the constitution was the freedom and power of speech. Although they allowed this luxury, it came with a heavy price. It must be used. Free speech must secure “[f]reedom for ourselves and our posterity” (Constitution). It must be used to empower the American citizens and ensure their protection.
The American government can have no power without the people. Therefore, it is time for all of us to stop the big bad government because we are the big bad government. If we, as Americans, do not like the state of the American government, we don’t have the luxury to blame the ambiguous “Them”. Instead, we have the pride, honor, and duty of voting, speaking, and maintaining the people’s government.
Lincoln, Abraham. The Gettysburg Address.
The United States Constitution.