Reflections on Democracy


Molly Ryan, Contributing Writer

The U.S. Constitution guarantees all Americans the freedom of speech, the freedom to protest, and the right to petition the government. One year ago, on January 6, 2021, these rights listed in the First Amendment were used to an extent that was no longer within our nation’s laws. When a protest led to violence and the storming of the Capitol, people began to question their own faith in the American people and thus the future of our democracy. 

Recently, recognizing faith in humanity has been difficult. In the spring of 2020, a virus entered our world and isolated and confined us. As death, sickness, and economic loss arose, many found faith in each other. As time progressed and the powers of darkness emerged, people began to divide. The coronavirus was no longer just a virus: it was an instigator of division, and it illuminated our country’s vast political differences. When we should have rallied in support of one another, we attacked each other’s views through a screen and judged our closest companions on their everyday actions. Our faith in democracy was tested, yet we continued to believe because if we do not believe, there is no longer faith. 

When the virus hit us, I was fearful of my future and the disastrous, deadly days ahead. These days turned to weeks, then months, then years. Currently, there is no end in sight, but we prevail. As our nation endures climate change, racial inequality, homophobia, and other societal crises, the coronavirus has become our new normal. We are conquering issues while living in constant crisis mode. 

As I find myself in a world divided, being an American has allowed me to feel whole. However much we struggle, and for however long the coronavirus lives on, we persist. Democracy creates stability. Even though our morals and beliefs are shaken at times, I still have faith in our country’s future.

With freedom comes a future, one that each American dreams of, regardless of the state of our country. During this time of struggle, I still believe the future holds limitless possibilities.