Call for Change

July 13, 2016
By glitzygurl PLATINUM, Menlo Park, California
glitzygurl PLATINUM, Menlo Park, California
28 articles 4 photos 4 comments

So far, the 2016 election has been completely unprecedented all around. Many of the candidates’ behavior has led to some people feeling unwelcome and disrespected in their own country. Being a member of a minority community, it is a little disappointing to realize that racism is still so prevalent everywhere, even in the most educated and diverse areas. It almost seems to me like racism is something that can only be suppressed and never terminated.
As children, we are taught that America was founded on the basis of hard work, ingenuity and strong will. But, from the perspectives of the Native Americans and African Americans, this mythology ignores the amount of blood spilled and human suffering that built America.
I believe that our political, economic and social systems were flawed to begin with, and we are only now seeing the drastic effects of the pain that fueled America’s growth.
We believe that America is a country founded on the concepts of freedom and equality. The story of America is certainly a great one, and one that has inspired generations of people to value hard work and education. But, right now, it seems that we are forgetting the very ideals that America’s founders once respected. Our country is spiraling downward because people are forgetting America’s heritage as a place where everyone can enjoy individual freedom and equality.
If the people don’t believe in America, then our country’s power and wealth means nothing. And many people are ceasing to believe in America.
As citizens, many of us have been feeling disappointed as this election drags on, and the political future of America becomes narrower. I know I feel disappointed.
I think the biggest change our incoming president needs to make is gun control. How many more people must wrongfully die before gun control is properly addressed? Devastating incidents continue to occur, yet authority figures keep vetoing bills, and nothing tangible has been accomplished. I believe that the effects of these incidents speak for themselves, and we can already see disheartened civilians fighting back and taking measures into their own hands. 
But, gun control isn’t just an issue with civilians. Lately we have come to know that the police in many American cities are using weapons and equipment handed down from the US military. The police are equipped like soldiers going to battle. In England, most of the police don’t carry any weapons at all, only batons. In Spain, the police are lightly armed. In most of the world, gun ownership is highly regulated by the government. There is no reason why the US shouldn’t be doing the same. Yet, these recurring acts of destructive gun violence are only an issue in America right now. While the shooting incidents with the police may stem from racism, it doesn’t help that the police have such easy access and carry such powerful guns.
I also believe that those in office need to allow new ideas to be debated and promoted. Our country has come to rely on the typical wealthy, white males to be our representatives in government. The election of Barack Obama proved that change and progress can be accomplished in America. But, now this upcoming election makes me feel like we are back where we started. I think that those in office need to be encouraging new ideas from both the youth and adults. Although many teens can’t vote yet, the youth in America are really what drive the country forward. Yet, we don’t have much of a say in anything. We are the next generation, and we are just as effected by those in office. America needs to allow new ideas and perspectives from everyone. On a hopeful note, this election did inspire a mobilization of large numbers of young people in favor of progressive ideas.
Overall, I believe that America’s systems have flaws, but there is still hope. If we come together and start prioritizing equality and liberty, then we can be united again. While the way America was established may not have been completely moral, that doesn’t mean that we have to resort back to old ways like discrimination and the abuse of power. Maybe the reason we are not united is because many people return to the old ideas that helped America gain power: racism and white supremacy. People believe that the way to gain control of our country again is to go back to the events that established America’s success. But, it is no longer 1776. Times have changed, and now the people have to as well. The incoming president and those in office need to reform America in a way that promotes freedom and equality. Maybe then, we can finally make America great again.

The author's comments:

I wanted to share my thoughts about the 2016 election and write about what changes I believe need to be made. 

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