Our republic is a contentious child of brilliant men who debated endlessly by mail and in person. It is not a yet “a more perfect union” since it falls short when dealing with many issues. Racism and sexism continue to be contemporary problems. News reports highlight serious issues with interactions between police and minorities. Native American rights continue to be contested by state and federal governments especially when minerals or petroleum are located nearby.
But we will continue to struggle, to debate, to strive and persevere towards that more perfect union. Maybe we will manage to continue to evolve until all the inhabitants of the US have equality and the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” regardless of race, creed, origin or gender.
We must not use apathy or cynicism as an excuse to ignore what is wrong with our country, but rather to use them as warning signs. We need to realize we have a duty under the constitution to be active in our personal education. It is not enough to accept new stories blindly or ignore horrid events. We cannot fall back on believing something because we want to believe it. As US citizens, we are asked to be educated and to participate so that, as Lincoln said, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Happy July 4th!