Top local WHS Voice of Democracy essay places third in District competition

Top Voice of Democracy essay ... Waukon High School senior Olivia Marti. Submitted photo.

The Lawrence D. Anderson VFW Post #4117 and the VFW Auxiliary to Post #4117 recently selected the winners of their annual youth essay contest involving local students. The local winners of the contest, selected in November, advanced on to the District 9 level of competition.

The Voice of Democracy essays were authored by Waukon High School students in the freshman through senior classes and focused on the question of “What are the greatest attributes of our democracy?”. Olivia Marti, a Waukon High School senior, was the top entry in the local level of competition and had her essay also place third at the State of Iowa District 9 contest. Her essay is included below.

“What are the greatest attributes of our democracy?”
by Olivia Marti, Senior - Waukon High School
Voice of Democracy Essay Contest First-Place Local and Third-Place District 9

The beauty of American democracy can be found in the civil political discussions between neighbors who don’t hesitate to lend a cup of sugar after. Its foundation is built in schools that welcome all student demographics regardless of their characteristics or pasts.

Our nation’s democracy is a privilege that we often overlook, instead letting its beauty get lost in each new global concern and conflict. Our nation’s system of governing was built to represent the people and fight for their beliefs, an attribute that becomes increasingly important each day.

Our Democracy is built on defined standards of what a fair system of government should be. One of the most important of these standards is respect for human rights and freedoms. Just as John Locke advocated for the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our democracy strives to represent itself through the unfailing rights of our citizens and freedoms that keep discrimination from finding a home within our elections. These guidelines, among many others, allow our system to be truly representative of citizen beliefs and passions.

This benefit to our national system of government is frequently forgotten as greed fights to overtake a sensible perspective for individuals. Where no system is perfect, some choose instead to only see how another system succeeds where our democracy may fall weak instead of viewing the whole system with failures and success included. Sensibly, we should look at every process as a whole and appreciate the fact that it is our decisions as citizens that cause these fluctuations, a privilege that many foreign nations do not know.

These same freedoms allow each citizen to make decisions not just for their country but for themselves. Whether we show appreciation for these rights or not, they are maintained for us.

The way that each person dresses in the morning and the news source they choose to read each afternoon are both freedoms that we scarcely see for their true value. It is through our democracy that we are granted the ability every day to influence our own decisions and the rules under which we are governed.

On an international scale, democracy allows our nation to be represented as the citizens within desire for it to be seen and reflects the contributions of our populations. As other countries watch the interactions between our citizens and communicate with our representatives, they are able to see an image of our general nation as we wanted to display. This factor of democracy has many indirect effects on citizen lives as well. It is through our elected representatives that we are able to build international relations and regulate our influence on their systems. These connections influence many characteristics of our everyday lives between the imports that we rely on, the ability to maintain peace, the revenue that stems from our exports. These factors of American life are all indirectly influenced by the freedoms that the American democracy grants us.

As we cast our votes and advocate for our beliefs, a moment is deserved to appreciate the right to do so. American democracy is great not because it is perfect, but because it gives the people the power they need to make decisions. When we see our system in a position where it needs work, we are able to advocate for the decisions that can offer repair. The greatest attribute of American Democracy is its ability to give power to the people on each and every level of American politics.