Democracy is a system of self-governance in which citizens elect representatives to pursue their interest, and a system whose functionality relies upon the concepts of truth, justice, the rule of law, and an educated populace. In the United States we rely on representative democracy as our system of government. We rely on this system to provide for the basic needs of our citizens. We rely on our elected officials to hold our best interests at heart and prioritize them in their political agendas. We rely on the constitution and a finely crafted system of checks and balances to allow for truth and justice to prevail.
But many Americans believe that this system is broken. Many believe that elected officials do not care for us, do not work for us, and do not safeguard our interests. Many believe that it is every person for themselves, and that our system of government has been corrupted by greed and self-interest. Many believe that there is nothing we can do to change this.
But what are the consequences of this resignation and civic apathy? Who benefits from these beliefs? Whose pockets get fuller the less we are involved? Whose life gets better and whose gets worse if everyday citizens sit back and watch it all passively unfold?
Part of being able to trust our system of governance is being able to trust each other. We need to again be able to rely on each other to do the right thing before we will be able to rely on our shared democracy. We need to be able to speak to each other before we will be able to understand one another and jointly find solutions to the challenges we face as a country. When we can find strength and solidarity in our neighbors and communities, that is when we have the ability to create real, lasting change.
Find your strength. Find your purpose. Engage your community. Engage with democracy.