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Knowledge for the future

Over these past two trimesters in my government class, I really got to learn in detail how our government made from the ground up. I have been filled with new information, had class discussions, and participated in debates amongst my other classmates. What I want to reflect on is how every piece of information that I have learned in class, leads me to become a stronger citizen for our country.

Two years ago in American History, we began with information on how our government got its foundation. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights guarantee that all American citizens have natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These three guarantees are the core of our government.

I’ve learned how to be a responsible citizen because of the individualism that we have been granted certain rights, duties, and responsibilities. At the beginning of the year we took the citizenship test given to immigrants who want to become a legal US citizen. I learned about the process of becoming a US citizen-one of the biggest responsibilities and a right to a US citizen has, is the right to vote.

I have learned that with the right to vote, we take on a huge responsibility. We are responsible to make the right choice for the future of our country. With that, we have learned that elections have consequences. As I watched the Presidential and Vice presidential debates, I got to analyze the candidate’s comments and discus the tone of the electorate, which was very similar to our classmate’s beliefs in opinions. Some of us believed that the world would end if Barak Obama won reelection, while others thought he was the answer to all of our problems. So far the world has not ended and everyone’s problems are still the same or worse. Just like the US economy. Nothing has changed since the election except more of the same, which is why voters must inform themselves about the candidates. That leads me to the actions and responsibilities of Congress.

Congress is made up of two chambers: the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. I have learned how Congressmen are elected and how long they may serve. The US Senate is made up of 100 members; the US House of Representatives is made up of 435 members. Senators may serve up to 6 years and House members 2 years. Each chamber has a speaker and a different committees, much like our student government at Parish. As a representative of my grade in student government, I get to put in ideas and work on projects to better our community, just like what congress does today. We learned that bills originate in the US house and an identical bill must be approved in the Senate. Eventually after debates and rewrites it either ends up on the Presidents desk or dies in committee. We also have seen how the members in each chamber do not get along and how they put their own constituents ahead of the country as a whole and gridlock develops. The president’s job is to be a leader and bring the two groups together, however, this semester in the US government, we have seen plenty of examples of how no ones is working together. They all look like kindergarteners not wanting to work together and fighting over crayons.

I could go on for hours about what all I have learned over these past two trimesters. The main thing I have learned is what little I knew previous about our country. Being in government class, I get a better understanding of how government is supposed to work. I feel like when I am 18 and legal to vote, I will be able to use my knowledge and understanding of Presidential races, and what to look for in debates to place my vote on what I think is best for our country in the future.

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