Americans have forgotten their own sovereignty

Change starts with us – and we, the people, are power

Every time I see another Trump status pop up on my newsfeed, I am astounded by the amount of comments such as these:

“Please win this election Mr. Trump for all our sakes please!”

Or, “This man may not be perfect for our presidency but he is our only hope for the next four to eight years. May God bless him and lead him to victory and later wise decisions for The United States because the alternative is a death sentence for our rights and freedoms.”

This type of rhetoric brings me to a frightening realization: we, the people, have forgotten our own sovereignty.

To be clear, this is not an anti-Trump rant. In fact, this is not about me choosing any candidate’s side.

I am, in contrast, addressing the innate fallacy of our citizens that a presidential candidate can fix all of the longstanding, deeply-rooted problems that us Americans have grown and harbored within ourselves since the dawn of our republic.

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It is no question that we are living in a time of epic gravity. For many, it is a time of anger and sadness. It is a time of much-needed change – change from the brokenness of our current state, change from the everyday violence we have grown too comfortable with, and change from how we choose to identify ourselves as a nation. However, these problems cannot be solved overnight, and, despite popular belief, they definitely cannot be solved by whoever sits in the Oval Office come November.

Yes, new laws and bills do matter. But documents cannot fix the illnesses of racism, homophobia, sexism, violence, or ignorance that have plagued the minds and hearts of our beloved nation for years.

We cannot fall into the trap of believing that a president can promise and sell us a new America if we ourselves are not willing to change in order to create a new America, because we are America. America is not simply an idea or a clump of bordered land, it is us. We have to look within ourselves and harness our own agency as sovereign individuals to ensure a brighter future for America, instead of complaining about our problems on Facebook or praying that so-and-so will come into office and fix everything.

In fact, a nation of citizens who would rather deflect all of their problems on the president rather than looking within themselves to change at the individual and familial levels are not the Americans that I wish to associate with, but instead are ignorant, fearful cowards.

Even further, history tells us that when there is a nation comprised of cowards who elect a leader out of fear, well, they probably ended up in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy.

If we forget our innate sovereignty as a free and liberated people, as a democracy, then our president might as well be a King or a Queen who possesses every ounce of the authority that our ancestors fought a revolution for in order to achieve.

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Point blank, I am sick and tired of the lack of responsibility and self-awareness of our own citizens. I am sick and tired of a group of people who blame politicians or the elusive ‘system’, whoever or whatever that is, as we turn a blind eye to ourselves. We are all to blame for not taking ownership of our own problems.

There are so many ways we can help America on an individual level, and we could all greatly prosper if we focused on taking the little steps, as they turn into the big steps.

Educate yourself on issues before you give an opinion. Listen to those who disagree with you and engage in constructive dialogue.

If you witness a verbal or physical act of hate, whether big or small, intervene. Stand up for what is right instead of staying silent.

Spend time with people who are different from you – different races, sexualities, religions, political affiliations, etc. Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange in order to gain understanding and end prejudices. You are helping America.

Watch your words. If you catch yourself about to use a racial slur, even if it’s just a joke, stop yourself. Changing the way we speak to a more tolerant way is not being politically correct, it is being a decent human. You are helping America.

If you are unhappy with something, join an organization for that cause. Be a part of something that actually utilizes time, money, and bodies to change the current state. You are helping America.

Raise your kids to be tolerant of all races, sexualities, ethnicities, religious preferences, genders, and social classes. You are helping America.

As the great Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Change starts with us, the people. And we, the people, are power.

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