Current Youth Tour Winner

Current Youth Tour Winner

Christina Bingham wins Youth Tour essay contest

Congratulations to Christina Bingham, a sophomore at Max High School, for winning this year’s Youth Tour contest with her essay. She will be taking an all-expenses-paid educational trip to Washington, D.C. in June with students from across the United States. The trip includes personal visits with the North Dakota Congressional Delegation. She will have many learning opportunities while she tours places like the WWII and Vietnam War memorials, Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian, Library of Congress and more.

Her interests in school are Ag classes and math. She plays basketball and runs for the cross country team. Her parents are Mark and Peggy. Congratulations Christina!

Democracy: Success and Strength

by Christina Bingham

Democracy, according to dictionary.com, is defined as “a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” Simply stated, democracy is power to the people. It has been the standing foundation of our American society since it was adopted in 1835. This form of government has existed since 500 B.C. in Athens and has been so prosperous because there are solid fundamentals that contribute to the execution of democracy. Although democracy is a successful form of government, there should be steps taken to strengthen it and make it more effective for the future generations.

As American citizens, adults are given the right to vote. I believe that this right has led to one of the strongest fundamentals of democracy: voter participation. Because democracy is based on the needs of citizens, voting is essential to hear the voice of the society. Therefore, democracy requires a majority vote when deciding matters.  By gathering the opinions of the average citizen, the electoral votes can be determined. Because of this, voter participation is key to uphold a democracy.

I believe that democracy is successful, but there are faults as well. In the current government, I feel as though citizens are not properly educated when voting. Many people are ill informed and vote without knowledge of what the new leader will entail. I think that it would be beneficial to educate voters and advise them to look at what the potential leaders are proposing. From there, they should vote for the candidate that best suits their own beliefs and values. As a matter of fact, 41.4% of citizens did not vote in the 2016 presidential election because they did not feel knowledgeable about the candidates. I strongly feel that American citizens should be better educated about their potential leaders in order to have a compatible country.

I think that our democracy has declined with use of negative media. Even in political debates, we attack the future leaders of this country and expose their weaknesses for the whole world to see. In my opinion, if we continue on this destructive path, sooner or later, the downfall of our society is inevitable. To correct this issue and make democracy stronger, I feel that we should reserve information so as not to show feebleness toward other countries. We should follow the example of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidency. He had polio and was restricted to a wheelchair, but citizens did not know. His paralysis was kept a secret because he was the face of America. If they would have given out this information, our country would appear fragile to other leaders. For this reason, I think we should only positively represent our leaders.

Conclusively, democracy is a successful form of government, but I feel that it should be revised to better fit our ever-advancing society. One of the standing foundations of the original democracy, voter participation, is what makes our government strong today. However, I believe that the public needs to be better informed and leaders should be positively represented as well. Irrefutably, democracy is the foundation of our American way of life, but modifications should be made to fit our changing culture.