The Democracy Dilemma. Casey Patterson
Democracy as it stands in America is imperfect, like every other country’s government and systems, ours has flaws as well. Most of the general public are people we know, people we grew up with, went to school with, played and fought with, and ultimately learned very valuable life lessons with. Those same people are some of the most “unique” people we know; everyone has someone in their family or a friend who, mentally, we have questioned at some point or another. If you can’t think of anyone it’s probably you, but that’s alright because you’re unique.
All of these dealings we have with average, everyday people can bring us to a few personal conclusions about society and our country because, ultimately, we make up society and we make up the country. Unfortunately a large percentage of our country’s population could have been educated more efficiently but instead they went untouched. My grandmother owns a house, a few vehicles, and land, but the highest form of education she received was up until the 8th grade. She, to me, is the perfect example of the population of our country because she grew up in a time where education didn’t mean “go to school”, education meant that if you don’t want to live on the street you better find a job and work for someone.
There are many people in our society with that mindset and there are many parents still teaching that to their children. Who’s to blame, the parents for not teaching their kids, or the kids for being “lazy”, or the government for not taking care of the citizens? This to me answers the first question about the relationship between the American public and our elected officials. It seems that no one really knows what’s going on and everyone is pointing fingers with no resolutions. This is problematic because of how important our relationship is to the government and the political process. I think we forget, but every elected official used to be an average everyday American citizen.
What’s important to first figure out is what do we as individuals value, also what does our country as a whole stand for and promise to uphold. If we understand those two things then we will be able to elect the appropriate officials who, despite their personality, allow their character to uphold what’s important. If we cannot find someone who will stand for what we all collectively agree on, we should hold ourselves to the standard and be the quality leader who sets the standard for others to follow, and, once they are ready, become leaders as well. In short,what’s important is setting the standard and keeping the standard.