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Author Archives: lauren2014

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

One of my favorite things about AP Government is that everything we learn ties directly back to the current events. Even the colonial history of our government is so prevalent in modern political issues, which is something I really enjoy. I think that presently, one of the buzzing issues the U.S. government is facing is the aftermath of Obamacare. It was really interesting as an AP Government student to follow this issue, particularly during the government shutdown. Now, there are a lot of questions being asked. Did President Obama foresee the complications? Did Republicans understand the impact of Obamacare, warranting their refusal to vote in favor of funding? Are Democrats, in the long run, going to stand by their decision to fund Obamacare in light of these complications? I think that out of all of these questions, the most important one is where voter and government employees’ loyalties will lie? 

This issue is not about choosing a common political enemy. Every day, there is opposition to our government, and these forces are united by the common enemy they believe to be the government. Instead, it is about deciding how far our elected officials will go to defend their beliefs, despite public backlash and failures. However, this decision does not make our officials more or less honorable. We change our views all the time, and our leaders have an obligation to change their minds as they see fit. At the end of the day, it’s about deciding what is best for the population, independent of personal feelings or agendas. If you put the conflict in a more personal context, you can begin to realize how difficult the decision at hand really is. Do you, empowered by your passion for you political ideologies, stand by what many call a failure or a disaster, or do you run the other way and hope no one notices? 

It may not seem like a big deal, but with mid term elections coming up, the true colors of our political leaders will come out. We get the chance to see how far our elected officials will go to defend or condemn their actions in office in the name of victory. It would be nice to think that their actions during a campaign are selfless and utterly unmotivated by a ravenous appetite for glory and for power. But every great political mind possesses this, and we feed the great beast with endorsements, bumper stickers, and ultimately, votes. Underneath all of this is passion, but we are too often swept up in the glitz and glam of political campaigns to really see it. Maybe Obamacare wasn’t the success everyone was hoping for, but that doesn’t matter as much as how our government decides to move forward. How will they address their actions and work towards a better tomorrow? Where will their loyalties lie? 

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Default

 

The American Dream

My favorite thing about any U.S. history class is that no matter when you study it, the problems, concerns, and goals of our government remain the same. Of course we are living in a continually evolving society in which old terms take on new meanings, but the heart of it all lies within the idea of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The United States pioneered this idea of giving a voice to the people, an idea which countless countries have long since working to achieve. I think we sometimes take for granted how remarkable it is that our founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution were able to create living documents that were able to govern the American people regardless of time period.  To foresee the problems a democratic society may face so many years in advance is a gift, and the brilliants minds of colonial America were able to structure a government that tailors to these specific needs.

I don’t believe that to appreciate this concept one has to be a devout historian or even like studying American history. In fact, the reason that our democratic society is so functional is because we are not all passionate historians who aspire to be politicians and carry out these beloved principles. It is our individual desires that make our democratic society a success because these desires motivate us to challenge ideas and become great artists, scientists, or writers. We are leaders in our own right, and the United States government makes it possible to have both controlled national power as well as smaller divisions of power that are led by ordinary citizens.

Maybe this is the real American dream. The dream to be a leader, a champion, a protector of natural rights. In other countries, being a leader is dangerous, a calculated risk, within a society. The choice to be or not to be a leader sometimes leaves the life of individuals hanging in the balance. People risk their safety and their freedom to lead their people. We do not fear this in United States like in other places. Perhaps we have learned from great crusades led by Dr. Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez that people should not live in fear of persecution for rising to positions of leadership. This is a new freedom that the founding fathers may never have believed to exist: the freedom for every individual to be a leader.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Default