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Letter to the Editor

Mr. Vinson,

You say that my generation and the one before are looking for a country that controls us? Do you think that America in your youth didn’t control you? It did, you just didn’t realize it because you were brainwashed by a capitalist country, a democracy, with only a radio to tell you the news and sports. Yet today the youth have phones that open the whole world right in the palm of our hands. People are telling THEIR stories from all over the country, heck, all over the world. It is different now. We are finally beginning to open our eyes, open our minds, and realizing everything with this country is not okay. 

By the time we are put into school we are told that we live in the greatest country in the world. A democracy. And we are programmed to believe that democracy is the best form of government there is. The word democracy is a crucial centerpiece of American Rhetoric. 

Taken literally, democracy is “rule by the people.” But that isn’t the case. The Athenian’s from ancient Athens, Greece are considered to have invented Democracy around the 5th century BC. They were a slave state. There were more slaves than citizens. So, women couldn’t vote, slaves couldn’t vote, and non-native citizens couldn’t vote. The ruling went to a privileged group of people. The U.S. from its founding until today is no exception. 

In the 18th century the ratification of the U.S. Constitution stated one had to be a property- owning man to vote. A critical section of this demographic was slave owning aristocrats (very rich people). Over time, the capitalist class split into competing groups. Northern industrial capitalists and southern slave owning capitalists. This left 94% of the American population without a say. Yeah, you read that right. 94%. A country founded with the celebrated idea that all men are created equal, allowed only rich white men to vote and make the laws that every other citizen had to follow. 

The right to vote has been extended over time. In the 19th century the vote extended to white men who did not own property. The state was forced to recognize the right of the black man to vote, which was fragile until the gains of the Civil Rights in the 1960s and remains uncertain today. Women’s suffrage was achieved in the 1920s. To this day American colonies like Puerto Rico and Guam have no elected Representatives in the US government. 

There is very little representation for workers or oppressed people in our government. Two thirds of senators and nearly half of all members of Congress are millionaires. Eighty percent of them are males. Eighty percent of them are white. The rich, white male is in control of our rights while approximately 90% of Americans are considered “not rich”. Half is female. And sixty two percent are not white. 

A capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and production are in power. The lower and middle class are vastly underrepresented in the US government. And until actual change happens, they will continue to be underrepresented. The youth of today realize this, and we will be the ones that shape this country into one that benefits EVERY SINGLE PERSON. 

Nautica Franken