Our nation was founded on the idea that the government can not and should not be run by one man with whom lies all ultimate power, but rather by its citizens, who will confidently and intelligently decide for themselves what is in the best interest of the country as a whole.
It is on election nights like Tuesday when my own party received such a thorough electoral beating that I must remind myself of this very idea and its enduring importance. Since this country’s conception, its citizenry has drastically shifted on multiple occasions, moving from a revolutionary force which brought the tyrant King George to his knees to today’s apathetic variety of, at best, infrequent voters. The latter, of course, being the political reality in which representatives, governors and presidents alike must work to be elected.
That being said, the 2014 midterm election results were not the product of a people raising their voices to be heard, but rather the culmination of decades worth of political ignorance and apathy allowing for humiliatingly low voter turnout and the slow deterioration of what we once knew as the “good citizen.”
This decline in citizen interest is not entirely the fault of the people but is the consequence of an ever-changing cultural landscape, a media which has failed to properly inform the public on issues of national importance and political parties who have exhausted voters with decades of partisan bickering.
Every election season, our televisions are drowning in political advertisements, each one more nauseating, anxiety-inducing and fear-mongering than the last; it’s no wonder the public has given up on its political leaders!
As voters, we are both pandered to and patronized, with few politicians on either side thinking enough of us to speak candidly or honestly about the issues at hand. In return, the public seems to enjoy blaming politicians for every challenge facing our country, from economic downturns to bad reality television.
And while I don’t entirely disagree with that assessment, I do think it’s time for us to wake up from a long and fitful sleep to take responsibility for a country that is in desperate need of our attention.
I’ve heard it said that “decisions are made by those who show up,” so I must ask: Americans, where have you been and don’t you think it’s time you showed up for your country?
Lucy Danley is a senior political science major from Abilene. She is the president of ACU College Democrats.