Since the foundation of the United States of America, representation and consent of the governed have been central to our beliefs. The founding fathers placed an amount of faith in the people, believing we had the power to determine our own faith indefinitely. However, there was a caveat. The founding fathers entrusted the newly born nation to a republican system, giving the representatives of the people a limited power to operate autonomously of the people’s will. This was designed to give senators and legislatures the role of both representative and guardian. Upon entering office, house members swear an oath. This oath specifies that the legislatures are to freely uphold the constitution, not the people: “that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely”. As a result, when a representative deems necessary, they may rule against the public opinion for the benefit of the nation.

However, this power has become abused. The American system of representatives has become faulted. Because of political “donations” and a lack of competition within Congress, corporations and wealthy individuals have developed an overwhelming influence on how Congress rules. The opinions of the masses are ignored, and the government blunders onwards, shedding away the trust of the people. Such is the case with the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality.

Despite the obvious opposition by everyday users such as ourselves, the copious funds gifted by internet providers have rendered our voices mute and insignificant. “The survey presented respondents with detailed arguments from both supporters and opponents of the repeal plan, before asking them where they stood on the rules. It found that 83 percent overall favored keeping the FCC rules, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents” (thehill).

Lest we become the drones of a dystopia, we young adults must bear our civil duties and cast away our apathetic attitudes towards the world of politics. We are the next generation that will shape the world. We are the next generation that will live the American democracy. And we will be the generation that revives the government that once shook the world, pioneering belief in the people, liberty and equality.

 

Photo by Free Press Pics

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CC BY-SA 4.0 New Government by Raymond is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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