A word rarely heard among Americans, except when conversing about the birth of the nation, is revolution. A revolution is the means to a swift change in society as well as government. And while I feel that there is no need to overthrow our form of representative democracy, I do feel that there is a need to make a swift change. Our government has become too comfortable in its way of thinking that they can do whatever they want once elected to power. We, Americans, have become too comfortable in our way of thinking that once they are elected, our government officials can do whatever they want. Thomas Jefferson once said, "Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it?"
Americans who defend the war in Iraq claim that freedom is not free. And while I argue that this war was never about freedom from the beginning, the price of freedom here in America has been reduced to nearly zilch. We have forgotten that the price of freedom and democracy is not in terms of money or loss of life of our soldiers; the price of having a democracy is the willingness to use it. Because when democracy is no longer used by the people for the people, it will devour itself in the form of tyranny.
From the Patriot Act to the mild voter turnouts across the country, our democratic rights given to us by the Constitution that remain the rock of this nation are slowly being taken away from us because we are too lazy to open our eyes and protest. And if this country continues down this path of idle democracy while politicians quietly edit out the parts of the Constitution they don't like, revolution may be a word used more often in this society. Without participating in a democratic government the people make themselves obsolete and then open to direct abuses. And who will speak for the people once the people have something to say and yet their voices have become numb from lack of use?
We are not at that point yet, but I urge all Americans to get involved in government; if not directly, at least vote and speak out. A protest every now and then is healthy if a democracy is going to survive. And how can we say that we are fighting for democracy in Iraq when we are amateurs ourselves? It won't be until the situation is at its most dire hour when the word "revolution" spills from the people's tongues and dampen their lips like Pavlov's dogs reacting toward freedom from the other side of the cage. With the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq already at 3,311 and climbing, one day Americans will have had enough of the death brought about by this war. Unfortunately, though, the seeds of revolution grow only in well fertilized soil.