The fall of the United States

The greatest threat to our nation comes from within the men and women we elect to govern it.

The United States is crumbling from the inside out, and, in doing so, is demonstrating that the principles it was founded on were what held this nation together for 230 years. The last six years have soiled our principles and our values as a rogue president rampaged unchallenged, aided and abetted by a rubber-stamping Congress and a complacent public cowed by illogical rhetoric and slanderous labeling of dissenters.

We have seen a war waged on the very facets of our nation that have created an unshakable democracy that has faced two centuries of threats. This war was waged from the White House, fighting against the checks and balances that are meant to prevent the crusade of one man. As our nation falls, we see the lack of democracy remaining in our “democratic” system of government as President George W. Bush wantonly charges forward in defiance of the nation’s desires and best interest.

The fight for power by the Republicans and Democrats has cost our nation dearly. A political party is meant to represent a viewpoint, a collective belief in the best way to run the country, not a single man. As presidents have struggled for more power, they have slowly eroded the systems put in place to protect our nation from destruction. These checks and balances were intended to control those in our government that do not act in the best interest of the nation. Political parties have used their combined strength of numbers to allow themselves greater and greater control and destroy these checks on power in a heresy of democracy.

Recently, there was a debate in the Senate. It was not a debate about the war or the actions to take against the president. Rather, it was a debate of whether this nation has failed, about whether we as a nation are still a democracy. As senators squabbled over whether the wording was too strong in a condemnation of Bush’s actions, we saw the failure of our nations esteemed principles. The men and women of Congress are unable to perform their sworn duties to the constitution and their constituents are unable, namely due to party allegiance, to challenge a president leading this country into disaster. The day a president with an approval rating of 30 percent is able to intimidate the group of men and women meant to represent the entire nation’s interest is the day that the constitution is merely old parchment, and not a declaration of our principles.

What we might know as Americans was summed up by an Arab diplomat recently, as he said of Washington, D.C.: “They don’t realize it’s the capital of the world. We are all watching what you do.”

This world leadership as the last superpower is waning. The world is no longer sure of whether we can halt the infighting and accomplish anything; or whether the system of political parties meant to aid in achieving our goals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has taken over. They are unsure that our nation is indeed fighting for the values that this country was founded on and represent, or whether the federal government is the mouthpiece of special interest groups and corporations.

The Declaration of Independence was signed in a time of strife, fear and oppression. The men who wrote this document declared that they would not sit idly by and allow their inherent rights to be trampled upon. These men signed this document knowing that they were staking their lives behind these ideals. But this zeal and reverence of the rights of mankind appears to have been forgotten.

The greatest threat to our nation comes from within the men and women we elect to govern it. This is why our governmental system was designed to ensure that no man or woman became too powerful, and that the ignorance or arrogance of one person would be overruled by the logic and intelligence of the whole. It is this system that will save us. If this system has failed then surely this nation will as well.

Ethan M. Root is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]