I can tell you the two most resonant things I’ve learned after taking this class for almost an entire semester: 1. I have more appreciation for my Congressmen than ever before, and 2. An absurdly large amount ofpeople are skeptical of our government. The latter is what I’ve decided to write about because I want it to change.
AP Government has really given me the opportunity to understand our government better. Obviously, we all grew up learning how a bill becomes a law, but I think the class really is meant to highlight the people behind the desks. The Congressmen work for our benefit and although politicians have a reputation of being sneaky and deceitful, I’ve come to the conclusion that they really are working for the benefit of the country. I have an enhanced appreciation of what they do on a day to day basis. Just because something they’re working on isn’t covered by the media doesn’t mean there are no progressions happening. There is a lot that the government does that we take for granted, and we don’t really understand how much of a quiet impact they have on our day to day lives–from the toothbrushes we use to the cars we drive. However, we tend to turn to government when things aren’t going well–because we look to them for an explanation. For this reason, many people are skeptical of the government because they only hear about the negative effects, and tend to blame a lot on the government.
I can relate to the Congressmen because of my work in my school’s Student Government. It can be frustrating to work at something and have it be rejected by the administration. The students don’t see the behind-the-scenes action, they only see the visible progress. There are many things that we accomplish in our school that go unnoticed because they aren’t so obvious. Some students at our school are actually skeptical of Student Government because they don’t think that we accomplish enough on their behalf. This problem was addressed in our school in a similar way to many other problems: spreading awareness. Once we spoke to the students and gave them a glimpse of what we do every meeting, they appreciated our club more. I think that’s the problem with our government. Not enough citizens are aware of how hard Congressmen are working and the milestones they’re achieving–once they’re more evident to the public, there will be less skepticism in government.
I also think that we should trust our government more because we need to realize how lucky we are. To be fair, we could have it a lot worse–although our government is far from a utopia, we are granted so much more than anyone living in a dictatorship or totalitarian state. People in the United States at least have the right to be skeptical of our government. We need to appreciate the strength of democracy–that system alone is why our Constitution has been so well preserved throughout American history. Democracy is the most powerful form of government because of its decentralization of power. It’s our obligation as members of this democracy to understand the inner workings of our government and really appreciate all they do for us.