Is this the country the Founders envisioned?

RANDOLPH — Imagine what the founding fathers envisioned for our country. Is our country the same as our founders imagined?

Although some would argue yes, the real answer to the question is complicated. America has become an international power and a symbol of strength and freedom. However, we now face immense issues George Washington and his colleagues could never have imagined. Nuclear war, voter suppression and climate change are just three of these issues. The United States has also made leaps and bounds in a positive direction: all citizens have gained the right to vote, slavery has been abolished, and technology has advanced immensely.

The founding fathers would be proud of the ideals our nation still holds. Citizens still vote to uphold the integrity of our country laid out in the Constitution. The average mindset of American citizens is one of perseverance, hard work and honesty. As the founding fathers envisioned, we hold the same ideals and have gained more protection of our rights. The founders described three primary inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Americans today still protect these rights for each and every person although we do so in ways unimaginable to James Madison or any other founder.

When the founders drafted the Constitution, they left slavery as an issue to be solved later. Because slavery continued to be legal until the end of the Civil War, we were left with a chasmic divide between white people and people of color. This festering wound of racism has extended to a point the founding fathers would no longer imagine our nation as the ideal symbol of peace and freedom. Furthermore, the lack of government action to protect minority rights would surely pain our forefathers who stood for citizens who couldn’t stand for themselves.

The cornerstone of America, a citizen that can’t stand for themself, is under attack. Nature is being destroyed at rates unfathomable to any person alive in the eighteenth century. Currently, global temperatures have risen, pollution has contaminated our atmosphere and waterways, and deforestation has decimated natural habitats. The federal government has been given the opportunity to protect Americans, especially the land our country is built upon, and has repeatedly refused.

This refusal has expanded to technology. The government chooses to scarcely regulate technology, and we have invented tools that surpass even some of the most eccentric science fiction from only 40 years ago. Now almost everyone has a phone in their pocket; the size of a dollar bill, phones contain the ability to communicate with people internationally and instantly. Many phones also have artificial intelligence assistants, fingerprint scanners, and facial recognition software.

Taking these into account, an answer becomes apparent. While Americans still uphold the ideals the founders established, we face issues and advancements unfathomable to the founding fathers. We are being called on to gain true equality for all under the law, which cannot be accomplished until racism is addressed and remedied. Climate change is destroying the land we tread upon, and government intervention is crucial to protecting nature. Despite these issues, technology has advanced to a point that no science fiction from even a few decades ago could have predicted. Thus, we see America is not the country the founders imagined, but they would certainly be proud of some of our accomplishments.

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