Morgan Guck

Voice of Democracy, First place

From California, to the New York island, and from the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters. The United States of America is considered one of the most beautiful countries to live in because of its different climates and natures. The United States is also home to over three hundred million people of many different races and cultural backgrounds. In a country with a large range of different landscapes and climates, filled with a large diversity of people, cultures and traditions, there are countless needs that need to be met. You might wonder, how does America meet all of these needs in a way that is the best for everyone? American democracy is one that is quite outstanding, for it is set up in a way that grants all citizens their freedoms and rights, and in return, the citizens contribute to a better country. So, what all attributes to this great system of ours?

The unique characteristic of our democracy that ensures the wellbeing of all citizens is the separation of powers. America’s great big tree of commonwealth has three branches of government; the legislative, the executive, and judicial. The U.S. constitution simplifies the reason for separation in three words: Checks and balances. This means each branch has its own equal set of authorities and no branch is more powerful than the other, or in other words, fairness. The powers are also divided between local, state, and federal governments. The federal government exists to make decisions for the nation as a whole, whereas the state and local governments can make decisions based on individual needs. Separation of powers is a perfect way to take care of everybody in a country with an incredible amount of diversity. So in this case, “separation” does not mean “disconnection,” but it means “justice” for all of America.

Another great contributor in America’s democracy is our leaders. Our government officials are not anybody chosen by random; they are U.S. citizens who ran with a purpose. We are represented by people of both genders, all ages, and races. Our representatives push for different ideas, concerns, and goals for our country’s future. With diversity among our representatives, every citizen can feel like they’re represented in our democracy. But not all of America’s leaders have been elected into office. With our constitutional freedoms, anybody can become a leader. Take Rosa Parks for example, a non-governmental official who made an amazing difference to our country. All of our official and non-official leaders share one common characteristic; that is the determination to make changes for the better of this country. Our democracy ensures us devoted leaders, for those who choose to lead us are those why truly love the country with all their hearts.

You might have heard an adult complain about jury duty, which is when they have to take a part of their day making a decision over a court case. All citizens are responsible for serving on a jury. Though it may seem futile, getting all citizens involved in one of America’s greatest strengths. We American citizens are the backbone of our country. All Americans are granted human rights and fundamental freedoms, but those also come with great responsibility. By taking responsibility, being considerate of others when exercising their rights, and giving back to their communities, American citizens ensure that the rights are given can continue to be given for generations on. Not only do citizens contribute to the greatness of our country by being good people, they also play a significant role in democracy. Citizens have the right and responsibility to vote for the country’s representatives. By voting for a candidate, you are voting for the change you want to see in the future. Citizens can also push for a better future by contacting representatives and expressing their input whether they want to create, support, or change a law. In short, all citizens contribute to the structure of our democracy. It shows to be true that America values individual freedoms and heartens the importance of what the people do for our country.

Having such distinct climates being home to all unique variations of people may cause a large range of needs to be met, but this has never been a problem for America. Because of our separated togetherness, our devoted leaders, and our citizens, our country can remain a strong, diverse, and most importantly, united nation, where everyone matters. Considering all being said, the United States of America is truly the most beautiful country.

Haley Korkowski

Voice of Democracy, Second place

Looking up at the red, white, and blue of our great American flag above, I cannot help but recall all the confounding qualities of our country’s democracy. Our nation occupies many characteristics that fabricate such a bold, outstanding country. From our human rights and foundational freedoms to our access to free elections and military effectiveness, America is a superpower because of the traits of our democracy.

Unlike many other nations, the United States of America is known for the unalienable rights of its citizens. Our 27 Amendments, including the Bill of Rights, were created for the citizens of the United States. These freedoms allow us to live without fear of penalty or expulsion. Our rights empower us to exist in ways some other countries cannot. For example, Americans can speak freely without fear of repercussion to the extent of the law. American rights also entail us to freely write and compel what is on our minds through books, news, and social media. Citizens of the United States can speak and write freely to another extent—assembly. Americans can congregate by coming together to practice the rights granted unto us by sharing how we feel through declaration and the press. Our ability to speak our minds and collaborate on ideas composes our strong democracy by allowing all Americans to be understood.

Given our freedoms and rights, Americans are in a position to vote in free and fair elections. While there may be bias and debate during presidential and local elections, each and every American is fit to vote for the candidate who they think is best for their needs and views. For our desired democracy, Americans ought to vote for who we believe has our best interests at heart, guaranteeing that a representative or elected official will fight for our rights to keep our country or community great. Voting is crucial; without it, we would’t have our democracy. Elections ensure all Americans get a say in how they want their country to exist. With our system of checks and balances, moreover, we can enable a stable government. One may not think so, but the American people, the voters, are the determinants of our democracy. To maintain a strong one, we must continue our civic duty in casting our votes.

While many say our democracy is a superior one, we have many brave people to thank for that. You and I would have no foundational freedoms, no ability to vote or participate in elections, and countless other privileges without the protection or security of our nation’s great military. The heroic men and women who serve and protect the citizens of the United States deserve more than our thanks. They deserve the world. When asked, “What makes a great democracy?” One cannot help but immediately gleam towards our brilliant military. We owe our lives to those who have served and protected the American people their whole lives through loss and the unknown. America is an impressive nation that shines through our democracy. We have our human rights and freedoms alongside our bold military, holding us up as a country united. Still gazing up at our country’s majestic colors, I cannot help but think of our extraordinary country’s qualities.

Isaac Geiser

Voice of Democracy, Third place

We the people. This is the first line in the preamble to the Constitution of the United State which was signed in 1787. These three small words still hold the utmost importance to this day. A democracy is about freedom, choice, and most importantly, the people.

Freedom is the best attribute we Americans get to experience. Freedom gives people the power to make their own choices and decisions. It means practicing your own religion without fear of persecution. Americans have the freedom to use their individual skills and talents to pursue the career of their choice. We gained this freedom because people were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice so that future generations could have what they yearned for, freedom. People from other countries are so envious of our freedom. They risk their lives trying to get the same assurance we have.

Our democracy allows Americans to have choice. We have choice in everything we do in our daily lives. We get to choose when and where we go to school, if we go to college, if we want to be in the military, and what career path we would like to pursue. We choose where we live, where we work, who we want to marry and where we worship. We get to choose what we watch on TV, what music we listen to, and what we want to do for entertainment. One of the most important choices we get to participate in is voting. Every American gets to choose who they vote for, from the mini-local school board elections to the national presidential elections.

When we say “the people” we mean everybody, it’s not just the elite, it’s not just the select few, it’s not just the royalty, it’s not only the men, it’s not only the whites, but everybody. Everybody has the freedom to do what they want. Everybody has a vote in who their leaders are. Everybody has the choice of who to marry or where to worship. No matter your creed, your gender, your race, or your religion, you are the people, we are the people, I am the people!

The second line of the preamble is “in order to form a more perfect union.” That is exactly what America has become, a more perfect union. We were able to do this because of our freedoms, our choices and our people.