How I woke up, and why you should

(CCU Student) Ignorance is not bliss!

In Oklahoma, the blood of the people runs crimson and cream. The people vote red (for the most part), and the paper of a small Green County town conveniently forgot to print the election of the recent democratic president. Political issues were not spoken of in school or family settings because it was assumed that if you voted it was more than likely a vote for the Elephant. Every once in a while a donkey would slip through the cracks and take office. When I came to be of voting age, I was told that my vote didn’t matter anyway. I couldn’t change anything, so why bother. I never cared. Plain and simple.

This is the environment I grew up in. The only time politics were expressly spoken about was during times of crisis: the Oklahoma City bombing, Katrina, 9/11. I had no idea how the government really worked, and had no desire to. I had no idea how much power we had given away to the federal system or that we may never be able to get any of that power back. I knew it was a corrupted institution, just as the public education system would have me believe, and the American system was a horrible detriment to society. Yet who is truly willing to give up the cushy lifestyle provided by this intrusive system?

I also had no idea just how far into debt the country was because of the social welfare programs. I knew that the government paid for the lunches of most of the kids in the Creek County school district and that most of those families were on either welfare or food stamps. The town was full of teenage moms trying to live off of state assistance, that is when they care enough to keep the baby (some began to use abortion as a means of birth control). I lived in a poverty area, and this was just how things were. When I worked at Dollar General I always knew the busiest times of the month are always the days that people received their benefits checks. Life in the eyes of many was just sex, drugs, government assistance, and typical Bible belt preaching (a lot of hot air with no substance).

Then I moved to Colorado with the dream of becoming an elementary teacher, and while it may seem that politics still should not have entered the picture, I realized that I had lived a life of blinded ignorance to the reality of the state we have put ourselves in. Politics is going to affect my job every day of my life. There is not a year that passes by that some reform for education is not put before state and federal legislators (most of whom are not and have never been educators in any sense of the word) in order to improve the school system in some way. From the national level right down to the local school districts, bills are drafted and presented to the legislators in order to make a change in something that makes a change to how future children are educated and how the teachers are to implement new methods.

Remember the “No Child Left Behind Act?” The CSAP came from its implementation. President Bush had a wonderful idea that with this Act every child will be able to read and do math at grade level by the year 2014. It is a good cause, but it is not test scores alone that will be able to track learning. Now there is President Obama’s “Race to the Top” that is trying to incentivize schools into testing higher in order to gain funding. If you do not get the desired scores you can lose some vital funding, and this will happen in schools that are already in troubled areas. I am not sure about you, but it takes more than just money put into a school district to ensure a child is learning enough. It takes an understanding of learning styles and methods and teachers who care. It does not take the government telling the school what or how to do things in order to have incentives. Funding must also be filtered into the correct places, which the local districts would be able to know where it is needed most. After all, a surgeon cannot perform surgery on you while he/she is in another state or even know exactly how you are doing. They have to be in the same locale to know the pertinent information about what is going on.

These are just a few of the things that are already affecting my future job. I cannot turn a blind eye to them anymore. I cannot just sit back in ignorance and let others run/ruin my life. If anyone does then they have automatically lost the right to complain about anything that goes wrong because of the government. Everyday there is something going on within the system of government that is going to affect all of us here. We cannot use our religion as an out. I do not mean that we are to look at the government as our savior by any means, but we have been called by God to be good stewards of what we have been given. We have been given our lives in the United States and we should not turn our back on it. There is a reason why the founders left us with a representative republic and would be rolling in their graves if only they could see the bankrupt mess we have become. How much longer are we going to impoverish our own future children? I have woken up and I challenge you to do the same—look deeper than the surface claims and do not trust everything you see. If you can truly hate this country and all of its faults just know this is the only country that allows you the luxury to do so.

I will do everything that I can in order to move into the future as a beacon of light. God gave us the government and we have a chance to make a difference if only we start to move before it is too late. Our faith calls us to move, and we have an opportunity to let the world see that we are not just a group of fanatical hypocrites that like to blow up abortion clinics and wave hate-speech filled signs. So now I would like to honestly know, what it is that the readers will do in order to make something better of the future? How uncomfortable do you need to feel in order to start caring? How far does the government need to go in your life before enough is truly enough?

Remember our country’s government is not a democracy. It never has been, and there has never been a true democracy that has not collapsed into ruin … Ben Franklin succinctly states what we are in a reply to a woman’s question about the newly founded United States: We are “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

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