In 1789, a document was dictated and inscribed by a group of enlightened individuals. This document was created to establish a common ground between anarchy and tyranny within the land we call America. This document is labeled as our constitution and articulates that, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”. Insuring “domestic tranquility” assures that people can conduct their lives without fear of social disorder, rebellions, and riots. All of which this country is facing today. Securing “the Blessings of Liberty” should mean the securing of our freedom and not the eradication of it. This country, in many ways has abandoned what this document stands for. To me, the constitution of the United States, and what it represents, is what it means to be an American.
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is nothing but a phrase that most Americans like to believe is true now days. Social mobility has reached a stopping point within our society. It is much harder to establish a career of your choosing these days. An underlining cause is because of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The average U.S. income went up $11,684 between 1969 and 2008 and almost one hundred percent of it went to the top ten percent’s wealthiest while the bottom ninety percent went down. This statistic also correlates with the life expectancy rate of the higher and lower financial classes within our economy. According to The New American Foundation, they state that the total of middle income jobs in the United States has fallen from fifty-two percent to fourty-two percent since 1980, while the total number of lower income jobs has risen from thirty percent to fourty-one percent. The lower classes’ chances of breaking out of poverty is becoming far less. Corporate America has diminished our rights for the “Pursuit of Happiness” and continues to do so.
Online corporations have bypassed our right of liberty by assaulting our privacy. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, both admit that we as citizens our losing our right of privacy. In 2001, George W. Bush acquired the power to order warrantless searches and in 2011 President Obama expanded this power. The Obama administration also has the power to GPS track any targeted citizen without a court order. When the average family salary rises, so does college tuition, only taking a more critical hit on the lower class and increasing the margin between the two financial classes. Many citizens in this country are wrongly informed due to falsely presented information throughout our everyday media. Much of the media we hear is controlled by big corporations. Wide protests on many political issues are ignored because we are only given what they want us to hear.
I love this country and I always will, yet I will never stop challenging what this country represents. The United States suffers from many imbalances financially, socially, and economically, just like many other countries. The constant battle between security and freedom is one that can’t be balanced by our government. We live in a place where it is perceived to be one or the other. One may say the constitution was created at a much simpler time but I do believe that those enlightened individuals feared that this country would be what it is today. Maybe they wrote those words because they knew we would have to look back at them one day to realize what it means to be an American and what it means to have “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.