“America, where do we go from here?”

Morgan Guck

Voice of Democracy  – 1st Place

The television screen flashes headlines of criminal reports over the view of two politicians brawling with each other. Alas, this is the standpoint of the united States of America. I flip the channel. Now, the screen displays the little-known stories that define American history. 25,000 fallen soldiers is what it took for independence. The United States of America exists because there were people who suffered in agony to possess the basic human rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Revolution, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, every single event that has occurred since the existence of America led up to today. Today, I can wake up every morning after a peaceful rest and go to school, where I see a vast combination of the world’s faces and cultures. I find it truly beautiful that all of my classmates obtain the freedom to choose how they are going to impact the country. America’s future is in the hands of today’s citizens. So what happens next?

The unique quality of the U.S. is the high living standards. Americans are the hardest workers in the world. In America, we have the freedom to become whatever we desire, but you have to earn your way there. Our working professionals have to be determined and passionate about their job. Therefore, citizens are in the best hands. The greatest part about our high living standers is that no one is held back. Higher achievers are given greater opportunities in school, for we have programs like the National Honors Society, and thousands of scholarship programs for recognized students. Every American, high achiever or not, is qualified to participate in programs that build character, and prepare them for leadership and careers. As has been said, the future of our workforce is in the best hands.

An American is someone who doesn’t feel whole as an individual, but as a part of their country. Someone who would give their blood to protect our rights. The United States have always had the dominant powers when it comes to war. During the rise of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided the country ought to stay neutral. During his speech, Franklin D Roosevelt quotes, “They say that we can and should become the friends and even the partners of the Axis powers. Some of them even suggest that we should imitate the methods of the dictatorships. But Americans never can and never will do that.” Instead of preserving itself as a country, the U.S. helped allies in war by supplying them with weapons, materials, and food. While the Lend Lease Act was in play, we aided nearly $13 billion, that converts to $180 billion today. This is a strong example of who we are as a country. Today, U.S. troops are still adding other countries in war. While fighting in post-9/11 wars, 7,057 U.S. service members have taken their last breath. Americans not only give their own blood for this country, but will battle for others.

Americans today are not the same as Americans during the birth of our country. Nothing can determine whether something has changed for the worse or better, except for one’s own opinion. Undoubtedly, though, Americans today are more lenient, impartial, and hospitable. There is a higher demand for social justice now than there ever was before. Really, there are only two ways humans can differ: cultural and biological. Biologically, no human is the same, and with time, more Americans accept that all men are created equal despite their biological differences. Culture means a person’s way of life. That includes beliefs, ideas, behaviors, and traditions passed down many generations. Those items are the building blocks that constitute a person’s character. What makes the United States of America so extraordinary is the diversity of cultures. This country is so full of opinions and oppressions that it can become overwhelming to individuals. But this is just another sign of America’s beauty. We have the right to freely express our own opinions. Considering other societies in this world, Americans are the lucky ones. We can speak freely. We can express our ideas. We have the right to criticize our government. We even pick our leaders. Evidently, our success as a country is in our control.

People often forget the freedom and the opportunities that await them. They forget how to set aside their opinions and come together as brothers. We tend to believe that this country is faulty and hopeless, I used to believe that. After perceiving over 250 years of American history, I have a new outlook. The compelling words of our Founding Fathers, along with 25,000 fallen soldiers, is what gave us independence. Our country was laid bare, nearly being only an experiment. America has come a long way since 1776, and who’s to say what will happen next? But based on America’s history, I can confidently predict that the future of my country is in great hands.

Josh Anderson 

Voice of Democracy – 2nd Place

America, where do we go from here? Well, such an easy, but intricate question. We could go numerous paths. The greatest path would be to go for information, to stop squabbling amongst ourselves, and go for the future. We must be open to new ideas, and continue on research and finding information. Our squabbling about women’s rights is unbelievable, we should have those already and not squabble amongst ourselves. Such as conflict in Pakistan, where women need notes from specific men just to go outside. That is completely unacceptable, what difference is there between a man and a woman? Just a difference in size nothing else, even that can be changed, so there is no difference. Another problem we face is BLM, this shouldn’t even be something that is argued about. We’re all human, that’s all that matters, we just come in different shapes and colors. We’re having disagreements with each other because we are different skin colors and have different cultures. That led to Iraq and Afghanistan being a waste of time and money, used only for America’s greed and difference in cultures. We still have Palestinian and Chinese concentration camps, which are immoral and unacceptable. Our culture and system were set up on the corruption of ourselves and the exploitation of others to which then now we are trying to right. Such as many Americans are Xenophobic and dislike members from other countries or other immigrants from any other country. Systemic racism still runs rampant in America and needs to be fixed before it’s too late. We need to change ourselves, yet so many of us won’t even attempt to recognize it. Police brutality needs to be fixed, such as not defunding, more training, and better background checks. Even if it’s only a few officers, it still ruins it for the rest of them. Global warming is a problem for everyone and needs to be solved soon before it becomes too late for all of us. Such as line 3 and transporting oil to help with emissions and causing problems with native lands for the Native Americans who were here before us. Homophobia and Transphobia shouldn’t be a problem since usually, it combats what people grew up with or what is “said” in the bible. Trans rights and gay rights should be allowed and accepted since America is a free country for freedom of speech and more. And yet we remove such a basic item because we do not like the other side of the story and from what the past of the country has been. Another controversial topic is abortion since we need the right to choose yet it is over such a harsh item of life and yet we make that choice almost daily between law enforcement officers and military competence. These are yet just a small amount of problems we run into in America. If we can change and fix these, America will return to its greatness. Once that is solves we will be better as a whole community. There is a difference between a mistake and an error, you make errors all the time, but make mistakes happen when you don’t fix those errors.

MacKenzie Gilster 

Voice of Democracy – 3rd Place

Where do we go from here? Many people are in constant worry about what the future of our country looks like. Is the world going to be okay? Is it safe to live in the U.S.? Over the past three years, the world has changed majorly. Covid struck and the world turned into a great panic. People did not know if they will have enough food and necessities to live through the whole pandemic. Being desperate for the needs to help our family survive, we Americans became violent. With the shortage of everything, everyone did what they could to make sure they got what they needed. Americans were hurting other Americans when we should come together as a country. We weren’t working to make the country better but tearing it apart due to frustration and fear. This caused a great divide in our country.

The political differences in our country will likely never change. There will be many different opinions and comments made that many will not agree with. Discrimination plays a great part when it comes to politics. The judgment and hatred that others may get just for their choice of where they stand on the political side. This can come to be very violent. American people love to be right and will fight for what they believe in. With many political riots and other retaliations to the President and political parties, it has come to be out of control. Will this fight ever end? Politics is at the point where it is taking over. It is red versus blue. You pick a side and that is how you are being seen as. This has led our country to have many differences and discrimination.

Throughout the years we have seen a lot of discrimination. Most of which is based on your race, religion, or political background. There have been many tragic incidents that have happened this past year that have affected the world greatly. Whether it be the many violent riots or hatred towards other races. Many people became very defensive and aggressive. Buildings were burned, stores were robbed, and people were killed. We all have our place in this country. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, or political choice. When we Americans are fighting each other on these things our country will become weak. We won’t need an actual war with another country because we will be at war with one another. There are men and women out fighting for out country. Some are getting killed and most come back changed because of everything they have gone through while in war. They are strong individuals that are fighting from us as a whole. They do not care what you look like or how you may be seen. They just fight for our country, and we are sure grateful for their bravery. This country’s future is based on how we react and adapt to certain events and experiences. This country will not survive without us coming together to help better the country. One person can not run it all on their own. So where do we go from here? I believe that our country must come to the realization that fighting each other is not going to benefit our country. It will make us look bad to other countries. We need to not think about what is best for ourselves but what is best four our country to survive.