A Dying Democracy
Updated: Jul 25, 2021
“As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the lawgivers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.”
—Adlai Stevenson, 1956
Disgust. Embarrassment. Fear.
Three words I've felt as I've watched the democracy I've grown up in, change in such dramatic ways, socially and politically. I'm disgusted at the means that people treat others and the continual lack of empathy among the powerful within our country. I'm embarrassed by the image Americans are portrayed in countries all over the world. Embarrassed that a lack of intelligence, ever-growing racism, and corruption have plagued this land and corrupted the image of what this country could be. An idea of growth and possibilities. I'm fearful of this country's future and the unknown impacts we have all created for ourselves.
When you search the word "Capitol," the Internet is flooded with depictions and stories of antisemitism and domestic terrorism lurking at our country's door once again, instead of images of the architecture or history behind the building itself. Despite the violence, one word that does not come to mind is "surprise." When told about the events on January 6th, the idea of tyrannical, white extremists taking advantage of their systematic superiority would sadly become a continuous reminder of our dwindling democracy. This generation has sadly seen images and events that have caused us to become desensitized to tragedies, corruption, and violence. Just like reports of mass shootings, domestic terrorism and white supremacy have been accepted as a new norm, an inevitable part of living the 'American Dream'.
On September 11th, 2001, my mother wrapped her arms around her pregnant belly; a once infant version of myself encased inside. She was fearful of bringing a child into a world such as our own. Almost 20 years later, I am plagued with the same fear, what kind of world would I be bringing my own children into? A society where party lines are regarded as more important than the hope for your own country? A place where corruption, money, and privilege continue to prevail when our society members have made pleas for needed change. A country that denies its wrongdoings and teaches the next generation fallacies about its upbringing on the backs of minorities and the poor?
It's time for an era of transparency and honesty. From our government leaders and representatives, and the corporations and systems in place in our country. It's time to take initiative and responsibilities for our downfalls as a country, for our youth of tomorrow and for the future of our democratic union as we know it.