Being American

I want to comment on it as I’m part of today’s youth and you might find my perspective interesting. I firmly believe all people are generally good in the sense that most of us want to see our loved ones live out long, healthy, and happy lives. However, there are some bad people…With the onset of mass shootings and constitutional crises becoming more prevalent and common in today’s world, we turn to our government to protect and serve us, much like how we expect the same from our police force. In my eyes, the government and adults in our society have failed us. They have forgotten what it is to be American. What is American? Well, I believe we have to turn to the Constitution. This piece of writing so beautifully transcribes what it is to be American and how we should be governed and what we as Americans expect from our fellow brethren.

Let us look at a few powerful quotes from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration For Independence:

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present but without the experience of the present; and forty years of experience in government is worth a century of book-reading; and this they would say themselves were they to rise from the dead.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval) (12 July 1816)

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson, from the fair copy of the drafts of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798; reported in Paul L. Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1896),volume 7, p. 305.

I sincerely rejoice at the acceptance of our new Constitution by nine States. It is a good canvas, on which some strokes only want retouching. What these are, I think are sufficiently manifested by the general voice from north to south, which calls for a bill of rights. 

Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison (July 31, 1788); reported in Memoir, correspondence, and miscellanies from the papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volumes 1-2 (1829), p. 343.

We're all living in this country together and we all have our own problems separate from one another, yet we can still come together in an all-encompassing pursuit of happiness. Without the right to life and liberty and our ability to both follow laws and collectively agree to change them, we have lost sight of what it means to be American. Where do we draw the line? Will it be too late before that line on the ground separating us from societal collapse is soaked red? I believe we have what it takes to keep the American Dream and the American Spirit alive. I know I do my part every day whether it's voting in our elections and or just by being kind to a stranger on the street. This movement is something I believe every young person, old person, black or white, male or female, blue or red, should get behind. Rejoice in the evidence our young generation has provided us-that we are still empowered by our voice and relentless drive to live fair and just lives amongst one another.

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  • Megan Sterling on

    This is so empowering.

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